No president has been bamboozled by a Russian leader the way Donald Trump has been.
Our intelligence agencies have confirmed without a doubt that Russia interfered with the 2016 Election and attacked out democratic institutions. The evidence has continued to stack up since that report nearly a year ago. But Trump continues to defend Vladimir Putin and continues to call the conspiracy a “hoax” that never happened.
During his 12-day trip through Asia earlier this month, the “dealmaker” insulted the American intelligence community by saying that he believes Putin when he denies that Russia attacked America.
He even went so far as to call former intelligence officials “political hacks” as if they faked the scandal to hurt him.
Trump would later walk back his remarks, but the damage was already done. Meanwhile, Putin got to sit back and laugh as his puppet president insulted America and embarrassed himself.
It’s as if he wanted the world to think our country is an even bigger joke than it already is.
Clearly, Putin outsmarted Trump.
And ex-CIA Director John McLaughlin agrees.
“The president is either incredibly naive and uninformed or Putin is a remarkably good KGB-trained case officer—or all of the above,” McLaughlin wrote. “Dissembling is part of the intelligence art but practiced nowhere better than in Russian intelligence and foreign policy. Facts, the evidence even of our eyes, do not get in the way.”
McLaughlin pointed out that Putin made the same kind of denials back in 2014 when Putin said Russia had no troops in Ukraine and that Russia was not going to annex the Crimea. Well, he lied both times even though the evidence was clear as day to everyone, even Republicans.
So, in all likelihood, Putin is lying now. The only difference is that Trump actually believes him despite the mountain of evidence proving that Russia interfered.
McLaughlin also slammed Trump for insulting our intelligence officials.
Trump crossed an important line in personally attacking the intelligence community’s previous leaders. Disagreeing with their views on substantive grounds is fair game—anyone working in the intelligence arena is used to vigorous and contentious debate on that basis. But to my knowledge, no president in the American intelligence community’s 70-year history has ever called its leaders “political hacks.”
Trump’s attack on our intelligence agencies undermines them and kills morale, especially when the insults are paired with Trump sucking up to Putin. He also sucked up to Putin during a meeting earlier this year.
If Trump continues to refuse to stand up to Putin and Russia, they will continue to walk all over America. That means Russia could easily feel emboldened enough to interfere with future elections to make our government even weaker. That makes Trump a threat to our democracy and our national security.