Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kremlin: Trump accepts Putin hacking denial in G20 meeting

Is that true? The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says so. Our Secretary of State Rex Tillerson framed it differently. Read on.

Quote of the Day: Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20. (John Podesta to Donald Trump via Twitter)

In addition to leading America into a lonely wilderness on matters of trade, immigration, and climate change, Trump ceded the PR advantage to the Kremlin following his tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin.

Trump Questions Putin on Election Meddling at Eagerly Awaited Encounter was the NY Times headline. It seems to me that the Times handled this one rather gingerly.

President Trump questioned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, using their epic first face-to-face meeting to directly raise what has become a vexing political issue for the White House.

Mr. Putin denied any meddling, and aides for each offered differing versions of the exchange. But both sides said the two leaders quickly turned to a discussion of how they could work together, including on combating cyberattacks and de-escalating the war in Syria.

The meeting, which lasted for more than two hours on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting, was so all-consuming that even Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, failed in her attempt to pry the two leaders apart halfway through so Mr. Trump could keep his later appointments. [Scriber: Or to stop Trump from ceding more ground?]

Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, said that Mr. Trump had confronted Mr. Putin in a “robust and lengthy” discussion and that Mr. Putin had denied involvement in any election interference. Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia, the only other official in the meeting, said Mr. Trump had accepted Mr. Putin’s denial.

There is a point of incoherence here. “… the two leaders quickly turned to a discussion …” is not compatible with SoS Tillerson’s characterization of the opening topic as “robust and lengthy.”

AZBlueMeanie has a lot to say about the PR that attended the Trump-Putin meeting in Donny and Vlad’s first date did not go well — for America.

Our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief started his day in Hamburg, Germany at the G20 Summit by tweeting this absurd claim that John Podesta and the DNC emails were the talk of the G20 leaders.

John Podesta interrupted a cross-country trip to tweet a response giving the idea as much credence as it deserves:

Pulled in for a pit stop in E. Fairmont W. VA. to see that our whack job POTUS @realDonaldTrump is tweeting about me at the G20.

Get a grip man, the Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected President.

Maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to President Putin

BTW, I had nothing to do with the DNC

God only knows what you’ll be raving about on twitter by the time we get to Utah.

Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.

Accepting Putin's hacking denial -
Trump's hand on it?

Unfortunately, Trump’s head and hand was with Putin. The Kremlin got the PR upper hand with images like this.

AZBlueMeanie quotes from Daily Kos’s White House sent Melania into Trump-Putin meeting in a failed effort to get Trump to stop talking.

Tillerson says that Trump made no effort to produce evidence supporting Russian hacking. In fact, he did the opposite. According to Lavrov, “ Trump told Putin that some circles in the US are exaggerating the topic of Russian cyber meddling.” Circles that apparently include the CIA, FBI, and NSA. Again, Trump and Putin agreed that what was really important was “moving forward.”

And to move forward, Donald Trump agreed to form a joint task force with the Russians to address cyber security. All of which sounds as if Trump agreed to drop any effort to sanction or otherwise hold Russia to task for interference in the election, and instead offered to give the robbers access to the information on where the keys are stored and how the security is wired.

The back and forth statements between Lavrov and Tillerson don’t exactly line up, with Tillerson claiming that Trump “pressed” Putin over hacking and Lavrov stating that Trump “accepted” Putin’s denials. But the Melania factor certainly argues that, whatever Donald Trump was saying, someone desperately wanted him to shut up.

That someone didn’t win.

My sense of the G20 is that neither did America.

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