On a meeting of the US President Trump’s Cabinet on Wednesday, an interesting question rose from one of the reporters. The question was – is Russia still “targeting” the United States? President Trump quickly responded “Thank you very much. NO!”
This question, of course, refers to the cyber-attacks that Moscow has allegedly launched against the US, and as it seems, POTUS somehow managed to stop them. According to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders it appears that Trump was saying “no” to some other questions, and actually did not answer this specific question about Russia. If you followed the clip to the end, the president really did keep talking to reporters at the Cabinet meeting and he managed to praise himself as a first president who has been really tough on Russia. According to Mr. Trump, “President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media.”
What is a bit peculiar in this situation is the fact that members of the president’s cabinet are a bit confused and don’t have their thoughts in line. According to Dan Coats’, Trump’s director of national intelligence, statement from last Monday we heard that – “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.” Last Friday, on the other hand, Mr. Coats changed the tune and said “The warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.” He basically compared Russia’s current cyber efforts to warning signs that emerged before the 9/11 attacks.
The other interesting thing that came in is the second round of comments President Trump made (and these followed his praise of firm hand over Russia) in which he states “My administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts — and repel — we will stop it, we will repel it — any efforts to interfere in our elections,” on Tuesday in front of members of Congress. He also added, “We’re doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018.” If he actually believes that there is no more Moscow’s meddling in the US and no more attacks, what exactly will his administration be doing on that matter? Wait, we know! Nothing! You also need to know that President Trump’s comments about the threat of current and future Russian interfering were basically drowned by his ability to reverse a basic fact about prior meddling – Did it happen at all?
You recall the Helsinki Summit? In Helsinki Trump openly said that he sees no reason why it would have been Russia who interfered. A pretty bold statement given the fact that every intelligence agency in the US confirmed that it was, in fact, Russia. Of course, something had to be done on this matter, which is why we all saw POTUS on Tuesday holding a press conference on which he read from a prepared statement that said that he accepted their (agencies’) conclusion that there was meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But, this wouldn’t be president Trump if he didn’t add a thing of his own like “it could be other people also. Lots of people out there.”
On the famous Monday press conference that Putin and Trump held in Helsinki, we saw something that shocked us all. Basically, POTUS played along with his Russian colleague denial of their election meddling and made them a priority instead of the conclusions reached by his own intelligence agencies. He tried to explain it by saying that Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence, said that “they think it’s Russia” but then Trump said “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.” This was definitely outrageous, and Trump had to find his way around this mess, which is why he claims that he misspoke in Helsinki and that he had, in fact, meant to say he didn’t see “any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” indicating that he gave the benefit of the doubt to his own people, and not to Russia’s president.
On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is a frequent and harsh critic of the president, stated that he was cheered by Trump’s claim that he had misspoken. He also said that the US president’s trip to Europe “wasn’t perfect,” and added “obviously what happened in Helsinki was especially non-perfect. But I thought yesterday was a step forward and I’m glad it occurred.”