We Don't Even Need Mueller's Evidence: Trump's Press Conference with Putin Was Treasonous

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We Don't Even Need Mueller's Evidence: Trump's Press Conference with Putin Was Treasonous

Let’s cut to it: Donald Trump, in his press conference following his private two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, revealed in front of the world that he’s a traitor to the United States.

John Brennan, former director of the CIA, summed it up well:

Mueller’s play last Friday to indict 12 Russian military officers in the attack on America, bulwarked with an extraordinary amount of detail about how that attack was carried out, couldn’t have worked better. Trump, now pinned to the facts about Russia (not about Americans involved), was asked to explain his position on that indictment and whether he believes the information from his intelligence agencies (or the House Intelligence Community, for that matter) or Putin’s denial. Trump then said, for the first time, that he believes Putin: “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia.

“I think we’re all to blame,” he added.

Putin, meanwhile, when asked directly, didn’t deny having compromising material on Trump or his family.

President Trump, in a stream of vituperative logorrhea reminiscent of Alex Jones or, perhaps more appropriately, some of the most unhinged of his own supporters, rambled through conspiracy theories about the Mueller investigation, allusions to a “Pakistani gentleman” that no one outside of right-wing conspiracy theorists and conspiracy theorist watchers will understand, attacks on Hillary Clinton, and a defense of his electoral college victory.

“Treason” is a high bar, but we don’t even need to rehash the endless debates about the election conspiracy to see it. Let’s put two points together:

1. Trump’s DNI, Dan Coats, said last week not only that Russia committed the election attack, but that the “lights are blinking red” today. He was even more pellucid: “Frankly the United States is under attack.” In other words, the attack, and the conspiracy against the United States, is ongoing. Combine that with:

2. Trump just said he has “no reason to believe” his U.S. intelligence community’s analysis. He refused, on camera, to condemn Russia for the attack, and instead attacked his own government.

In other words, Trump is aiding and abetting and giving comfort to an enemy who, by the analysis of people Trump himself appointed to lead the intelligence community, is currently attacking the United States.

The conspiracy never ended. He’s “colluding” in our faces. It’s disgusting—physically sickening—and it shames the United States and our elected Republican representatives who, if they don’t act now, are unmistakably complicit.

The Lowlights

- Before the press conference started, the secret service removed an accredited journalist from The Nation who was protesting, holding a sign that read, “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.” Yesterday Trump again tweeted that the press is “the enemy of the people.”

- Trump opened by saying, “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed. As of about four hours ago.” He blamed part of the bad relationships not on Putin’s invasion of Crimea, his interference in Ukraine, his downing of a civilian Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, his multiple poisoning attacks in the U.K., his gross human rights record, or his abuses of the press and crackdowns on political dissident…but on the Mueller investigation.

- Trump and Putin agreed there was no collusion.

- Putin didn’t deny he has kompromat on Trump.

- Putin gave Trump a soccer ball, which Trump then tossed to Melania.

- Putin admitted he supported Trump in the election.

- Trump said Putin “has an interesting idea” about what to do about the election attack, but he didn’t offer details. Putin, however, did, saying he’d be willing to invite Mueller’s team over to observe Russian interrogations of the men Mueller accused of the attack. This isn’t a gift, however: “We’d expect the U.S. to reciprocate” and have U.S. law enforcement invite Russians to observe interrogations of American citizens Putin accuses of breaking the law in Russia.

- Trump said, “Putin was incredibly strong and powerful in his denial today.”

-Trump both-sides’ed the election attack:

“I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. We’ve all been foolish… I think that we’re all to blame.”

The president later launched an incoherent, lie-strewn jeremiad against his own countrymen, beginning with both-sides’ing the election attack:

You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? [Ed.: They don’t need it physically. They imaged it. Mueller did examine the server, and cited the server in this week’s indictment.] Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months, and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying? ...I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have — I have confidence in both parties. I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone.

- When a Russian reporter asked Trump about calling Putin “an adversary, a rival,” Trump, who in the same interview called the European Union a “foe,” said “Well, actually I called [Putin] a competitor. And a good competitor he is. And I think the word ‘competitor’ is a compliment.”

Other things

The press conference also touched briefly on policy issues, such as Syria and trade.

On Syria, Putin offered to help the United States resolve the humanitarian crisis there. Trump, too, said he wanted to focus on what he called “the helping of people.” Specifically he said he wanted to get refugees “some form of shelter on a humanitarian basis.”

Putin, however, also said he wanted to separate Israeli and Syrian forces. “This will bring peace to Golan Heights, and bring more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel, and also to provide security of the state of Israel.” This also happens to be exactly what Iran wants, and will give Assad more room to brutalize on his own people.

Trump offered no specific plans there.

As for economy, Putin said that he and Trump “agreed to create a high-level working group that would bring together captains of Russian and American business. After all, entrepreneurs and businessmen know better how to articulate this successful business cooperation. We’ll let them think and make their proposals and suggestions in this regard.”

Great. Russian oligarchy is colonizing America.

Trump got the last word: “If anybody watched Peter Strzok testify over the last couple of days—and I was in Brussels watching it—it was a disgrace to the FBI, it was a disgrace to our country, and you would say that was a total witch hunt.”

You can watch the whole press conference here.