Putin’s playing Trump like a master violinist

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing Donald Trump like a master violinist, a development that does not bode well for foreign affairs under the new administration.

For reasons that aren’t clear, Trump has become a real fan of the former KGB official, praising him for being a “strong leader,” ignoring policies and actions that push opposition parties to the sidelines and throttle critical media outlets. He even encouraged Russian intelligence to try to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Putin has returned the favor by calling Trump a “colorful and talented person,” and more recently, taking his side in the debate over whether Russia tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election, labeling the Democrats “sore losers” who are inventing excuses. Naturally, Russia denies any such intentions.

Trump immediately rejected any notion that the Russians may have influenced the outcome of the election without ever having been briefed by any of the intelligence agencies.  His massive but very fragile ego won’t permit him to even entertain such a thought–it’s bad enough he lost the popular vote.

He has disparaged the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and has essentially challenged them to prove the allegation. Clearly, Trump is somebody who isn’t willing to listen to anything he doesn’t already believe. He has even embraced Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has done severe damage to American interests and been labeled a “cyber terrorist” by Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Fortunately, Senate Republicans have more common sense than the president-elect, and Thursday’s hearing featuring the heads of our intelligence agencies served to create an anchor to reality for this whole debate. As Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell put it: “Russia is not our friend.”

Russia’s glory days as a world power are behind it, and it is currently a regional nuisance more than anything else. But you can bet China and our other adversaries are watching these developments with great interest, and are noticing Trump’s inability to tether himself to reality.

To paraphrase an old Chinese saying, we will be living in interesting times for the next four years.

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19 Responses to Putin’s playing Trump like a master violinist

  1. Todd Juvinall says:

    I think it is the exact opposite. If you ever dealt with a developer in the big city you would know.

    • Who should I believe: Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange, or America’s intel agencies? Trump is more concerned about his image–I won, I’m the president–than the damage foreign interference can do to the country.

  2. Todd Juvinall says:

    But they did not give us any proof. Why do you deny that?

    • Apparently it never occurred to you that the “proof” was withheld from the public summary so we wouldn’t give the Russians clues about who provided the information or how we obtained it. That’s called spy craft, something your cold warrior buddies over at Ruminations can explain to you in exhausting detail.

      I find it interesting that so many of our local cold warriors are willing to take Putin and Assange at face value. Before you know it, they’ll be nominating Edward Snowden for sainthood. An excellent example of ideology trumping common sense.

  3. Todd Juvinall says:

    Nothing to do with ideology. As a journalist I am shocked you seem to have no curiosity in the factual sources. I call that ideology. I have no love for the Assange dude or Snowden. But when we are told by McCain this is war, should we not have the facts? Is your grandson of soldier age?

    • One more time, Todd: Detailing the “proof” in public would compromise our sources. I’m sure the proof was presented to Trump in great detail, not that he particularly cares. He’s more interested in convincing the public he won a “huge” victory with no help from the Russians.

      Why would you doubt McCain? He’s one of your boys. In fact, I’ll be you voted for him.

  4. Todd Juvinall says:

    One of my boys? My my, you really are a partisan. You simply are unable to think outside the “ideological left’s box” and see things a bit different. I am a skeptic to any pronouncements of government. Always have been. Having been inside it as a elected I can suggest I may know more about it than you. I bet you voted for Obama, Kerry and Gore.

    • Todd, are you saying you lied to the public when you were a supervisor? No wonder you lost your Assembly race.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      Where did you get that? My you have a brick on your shoulder. And I lost the Assembly race (seven R’s in the primary) because I was outspent by ten times. I finished third.

  5. ctgorectgore says:

    “Senate Republicans have more common sense than the president-elect”?
    Who might those Senators be George? I’m having trouble coming up with even one!

    • The members of the Senate Intelligence Committee is a good place to start. They seem to understand the hacking controversy is about more than trying to influence the election, it’s about a broad Russian campaign of cyberattacks to damage U.S. government, military, diplomatic and commercial operations.

  6. Todd Juvinall says:

    Fake News as reported today. Shame on you.

    • Fake? Who says? For somebody who routinely cites outfits like Breitbart and Infowars, you hardly know the difference. Time will tell if there’s any truth to these allegations, like the “news” that Hillary was involved in a child sex ring.

  7. Todd Juvinall says:

    Oh I know the difference. And please tell me where you find me citing Briebart or infowars. That is fake news direct from you. And as a journalist I am shocked by your position.

  8. Here’s Trump at his press conference Wednesday, responding to allegations Russia have gathered damaging information about his personal conduct that they’re going to use to blackmail him: “They said it totally never happened. I respect the fact that (Putin) said that.”

    Trump is either disingenuous or he’s clueless. You decide.

  9. Todd Juvinall says:

    Oh I think Trump is way more smart than you lefties give him credit for. Afterall, he defeated you, the mainstream press, the democrat machine and millions of other opponents. I think it may be you are projecting.

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