Foie Gras Mr. President?

Today was the day that many of us Americans had been waiting for: the big US-Russia summit in Helsinki, Finland.

This came off of a gaffe filled week while in the UK where the President insulted U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in an interview with the Sun Newspaper, where he bashed her Brexit plan, encouraged Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister (although he didn’t say he should replace Ms. May), and said that the UK was in turmoil.

This comes after a tension filled NATO summit. Where he called on countries to pay more into their defense (which is fair), but wrongly stated that the US pays in excess 4%. He also stated that Germany is under control of Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Russia has turned off the gas to Ukraine.

The day before the meeting, President Trump sent out this tweet (which will play an important part later):

In today’s event, the president had a private meeting with Premier President Putin that lead to a press conference. In it, he took the position of Mr. Putin that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 election meddling, contrary to what US intelligence says. Quoting:

REPORTER, AP: President Trump, you first. Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you sir is, who do you believe? My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you want him to never do it again?

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? 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?

With that being said, all I can do is ask the question.

My people came to me, Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia. 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. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.

I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s thirty three thousand e-mails.

I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer.

President Trump spent more time focusing on attacking the DNC and Hillary Clinton than squaring up with Putin about what they did.

After the feedback the President tried to do some damage control with the following tweet:

After watching this, I felt genuinely upset and saddened by the actions the president took. To no surprise, Democrats took an attack at the President, which Chuck Schumer saying:

However, Republicans criticized him as well with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying:

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”

Although Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was more careful in his wording:

The Russians are not our friends. I’ve said that repeatedly, I say it again today. And I have complete confidence in our intelligence community and the findings that they have announced

More statements can be found here.

One notable exception to the critique is Senator Rand Paul who said in part:

I’m not so sure I would describe it as siding with the Russians.

I would say that President Trump has healthy dose of skepticism towards our intelligence community. And I — I share some of that.

Today, the President tried to walk back these statements, and unfortunately many Republicans have bought into what was said; however, for me, it is too little too late. I believe the President said exactly what he meant and with President Putin playing with a soccer ball and dismissing everything as a kid’s game, I think it’s clear who won.

While some people may follow you blindly, I certainly won’t. You had two opportunities yesterday to clear things up (an interview with Sean Hannity and with Tucker Carlson) and did nothing. It wasn’t until you were on Air Force One that you tweeted saying he had confidence in our intelligence agencies, it wasn’t until the following day (when who knows how many countless advisers had to have smacked some sense into him) that he finally retracted it.

We tend to look at Jimmy Carter’s “General Malaise” speech as one of the worse moments in American history, but I think that this will now top it.

While you can tweet and rally as much as your want, you need to face it Mr. President, your goose is cooked.

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