What We Don’t Understand Is Why People Are Getting All Bent Out Of Shape About It
- Sure, the 2 continue to be abnormally chummy.
- Sure, it’s galling that Trump congratulated the Russian President for winning a totally rigged election. (Especially since, as the Washington Post reports, the President was given briefing materials by his national security advisers prior to the phone call between the two of them that advised: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE”. Just like that. IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. And he did anyway).
- Sure, it’s equally galling that Trump’s “making nice” and suggesting further talks just a few days after his own Administration acknowledged and finally put sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election.
- Sure, it’s even more galling that Trump made no mention of the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K., even though his Administration and U.N. Ambassador have squarely condemned Russia for it, and he has too, though less squarely.
But does any of this surprise any of you? Even a little? This is Trump. This is who we got.
In that context, Trump’s just giving his buddy a call. And suggesting they follow up face-to-face to work on “overcoming the problems that have piled up in U.S.-Russian relations“, as the Russians put it, is not a horrible idea. Because talking is usually better than not. Usually.
We Were Much More Concerned By The President’s Peripatetic Position On Nuclear Arms
This was apparently what he mainly talked to Putin about. And Trump appeared to both condemn and endorse a global arms race. In the same sentence. And then he repeated himself, using almost the exact same words. Saying “the arms race…is getting out of control…but we will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have”. In other words, it’s going to get more out of control. Here’s that part of his Q&A with reporters, following a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and some would say de facto leader. Click on the photo to play:
Trump’s statement about how he intends to stop the arms race by winning it, was his first on the subject since Putin asserted during a pre-election speech that Russia now has an “unstoppable” nuclear missile, that cannot be detected and destroyed by missile defense systems. It was our lead story a couple of weeks back, but kind of got buried in mainstream media because there were so many other things going on, and it’s really hard to assess if what Putin’s saying is actually true or just a campaign trail boast.
Apparently, it made an impression on Trump, because as far as we know, he hasn’t got one.
Trump Put On His Arms Salesman Hat For Meeting With Saudis, But Will He Sell Them What They Really Want?
We reported a couple of months ago on how the Trump Administration was exhorting State Department employees to work harder at selling U.S.-made weapons to overseas governments, and in his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trump showed ’em how it’s done:
But as the Atlantic reports, what the Saudis really want is U.S. nuclear technology. To build reactors. Because even though they’re sitting on a lot of the world’s oil, they’ve got an energy shortage. No, really.
But of course the Saudis also want to enrich uranium on their own and reprocess spent fuel, giving them the ability to build a nuclear weapon, something the Crown Prince says they’ll do for sure anyway if Iran does.
Mitch McConnell Says Mueller “Should Be Allowed To Finish His Job”
And that he has “a lot of confidence” in the Special Counsel. But McConnell deflected when asked to directly address Trump’s recent attacks on Mueller, and made no mention of what he’d do if the President took greater action than Tweeting. Here’s a clip:
If Facebook Thought The “Cambridge Analytica Thing” Would Blow Over, They Can Forget About it
Several more developments of note:
- The Federal Trade Commission, according to the Washington Post, has opened an investigation into Facebook. The FTC’s inquiry apparently relates to the possible violation of an agreement it made with Facebook 5 years ago when it settled charges with the social media giant related to deceiving consumers by “failing to keep privacy promises”.
- Cambridge Analytica’s Board of Directors suspended their CEO, Alexander Nix, after an embarrassing and potentially incriminating undercover interview was aired on British TV.
- And Facebook shareholders filed a class action suit against the company. Facebook stock dropped nearly 12% in value before recovering a little late Tuesday. That represents a decrease of nearly $53-billion in market value.
Judge Rules Trump’s Not Immune From Sexual Harassment Charges Just Because He’s President
New York State Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter denying Trump’s lawyers requests to throw out the case brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, or at least keeping it on ice until he’s out of office.
Her reasoning is pretty simple: the charges have nothing to do with him being President. Schecter wrote: “Nothing in the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution even suggests that the President cannot be called to account before a state court for wrongful conduct that bears no relationship to any federal executive responsibility.”
Meaning Trump might have to appear for depositions. But don’t count on that happening anytime soon.