Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 8:17 AM

Top Aides Confronted Trump for Siding with Putin … and Got Trolled

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

The A-list advisers Trump appointed to his cabinet represented the one redeeming feature of his presidency at the outset.

Most notably, the prevailing wisdom was that the triumvirate of James Mattis at Defense, Rex Tillerson at State, and H.R. McMaster at National Security would provide the kind of safeguard for the Trump administration that training wheels provide for kids’ bicycles.

But that now seems like decades ago. That Mattis is the only A-lister still serving speaks volumes about how determined Trump has been to have his way. The result has been such chaos and incoherence, you’d be forgiven for thinking that, instead of Make America Great Again, Trump’s MAGA stands for Make America Go Apeshit.

Trump’s latest temper tantrum came last week in the wake of his universally criticized summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It stemmed from his treasonous siding with Putin over his own intelligence agencies with respect to Russia’s cyberattacks on the 2016 election.

That compelled the following, which the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday under the headline “Pence, Bolton, Kelly confronted Trump in Oval Office about Russia comments”:

Top aides gathered to convince the president to issue a rare walk-back of the comments he’d made raising doubts about U.S. intelligence conclusions of Russian election interference as he stood alongside Vladimir Putin.

Except that the story evoked more gallows laughter than reassuring praise because everyone knows Trump’s script.

Sure enough, after initially playing along, the congenitally temperamental Trump made a mockery of their confrontation. Specifically, he trolled them by tweeting his intent not only to stand alongside Putin again (and vent their mutual distrust of American institutions) but to do so at the White House to boot.

The White House announced Thursday that Vladimir Putin has been invited to Washington this fall, even as leaders in Washington tried to fully understand what happened when President Trump and the Russian leader met earlier this week in Helsinki. …

As the late afternoon tweet landed, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats was on stage at the Aspen Security Forum in the middle of an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who broke the news to him. Coats, clearly surprised, took a deep breath.

(The Washington Post, July 19, 2018)

Frankly, this would be laughable if the foundations of American democracy, to say nothing of national security, were not at stake. I mean, Trump is behaving like a teenage girl who was reprimanded by her parents for sneaking out for a booty call with a notorious bad boy. And she responds by sneaking that bad boy into her bedroom … and ends up pregnant.

And so it goes: Na-nana-naa-nah! 

Related commentaries:
Trump-Putin Helsinki

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