Here’s a NY Times op-ed, Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?, written by Republican Congressman, Will Hurd, a former CIA officer, worth reading.
Geesh, I wrote my last blog post the day before Trump’s private meeting with Putin and I didn’t even use a crystal ball. I enjoy watching people and trying to figure out how they operate – it’s sort of a lifelong hobby of mine. Trump’s behavior patterns leave no surprises at this point.
Here’s my next prediction: The Russians are launching a massive nuclear level information war against America using Trump as their stooge. This Helsinki summit gave them control over manipulating Trump for months to come. They will be fomenting constant chaos by churning out all the things Trump agreed to in that private meeting with Putin. Trump was massively manipulated and played, so it will be interesting to see how much of the American store Trump gave away. We don’t know what Trump agreed to in that meeting, but the Russians will be using it to inflame the ongoing domestic partisan spin war, working to destroy every last vestige of American credibility.
The Russians have all of their info war pieces in place and Trump is effectively being managed by FOX news pundits and assorted people outside of his cabinet. The trails of who manages these people likely lead back to Moscow. Trump is so easily manipulated that he will go along with just about any policy they sell him.
To demonstrate how insidious the Russian info war ops will be, let’s examine that Trump gave his first two post-summit interviews to Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Last night Tucker Carlson led Trump into once again undercutting the very reason for NATO’s existence (mutual defense) by tossing out Montenegro as an example, positing the hypothetical as why would Americans want to send their sons and daughters to defend Montenegro. Trump took that bait, insulted the people of Montenegro and once again questioned the mission of NATO.
Trump seemed prepared for the Montenegro example, so it’s obvious someone had talked to him about this ahead of time. He walked into that interview and was deliberately set-up. That foreign operators are working within FOX News sure seems obvious at this point.
This afternoon we learn that Trump discussed allowing the Russians to question a former US ambassador to Russia. Although Sarah Sanders did not have details, she did confirm that Putin and Trump discussed that topic. That Trump didn’t automatically dismiss that or tell Putin that the US is never going to hand over a US diplomat for questioning, boggles the mind. Why would any American president even entertain that suggestion from the Russians???
Tom Ricks wrote a short commentary about Trump turning away from the generals and now relying on FOX News. Ricks said:
“So, in the long run, I think the generals will be remembered as emblematic of Trump’s first screwy year, when as the estimable Maggie Haberman observes, Trump was new and scared. By contrast, Trump nowadays feels he understand the job and is doing magnificently if only people would stop probing his past crimes. So he has turned away from the generals and instead is stocking his staff with people he has watched on Fox News.”
A few photo ops with American troops and road show rallies won’t spin Trump past this one, because this isn’t the Dem/mainstream media spin machine against Trump. This is the Russians launching a nuclear level info war attack and they have handlers in place, who have not only the American president’s ear… they likely taped that entire meeting with Trump.
While the left still is obsessing over pee tapes, perhaps we all need to be worrying about what Trump, trying to impress a strongman he admires, agreed to.
It’s become not only depressing following this endless 2016 spin war, it’s mind-numbingly exhausting, to the point often I read a few news articles, take a look at the hysterical headlines sapping all of the news reporting energy on both sides of this info war, then I go about my real life chores and my spare time I used to devote to thinking about politics and news topics, goes to reading novels or my crafts and needlework projects.
In my last blog post I wrote:
“There’s one other predictable outcome. Other Trump cabinet officials will be jetting around the world for months after this summit, trying to clean up Trump’s messes that are sure to come from Trump’s reckless, impetuous and egomaniacal impulses.
Oh, and of course Trump will be tweeting that he struck the best deal ever…”
Well, Trump’s trip isn’t even over yet, but I feel my prognostication radar was pretty accurate:
WASHINGTON — Hours after President Donald Trump departed NATO headquarters Thursday, U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale “damage control” operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region.
The outreach, directed by the Pentagon leadership, came after Trump threatened to reassess those commitments during a gathering with NATO allies in Brussels, according to multiple current and former diplomatic and military officials familiar with the calls.
This isn’t spin from the “fake news” or lies about President Trump’s deal making skills, this is what happens with every Trump policy initiative, both domestic and foreign. Even when Trump’s proposed policy makes sense to bolster American national security, it’s always Trump and his undisciplined, imprudent, unscripted taunts and unscripted speeches that torpedo his own policy efforts.
This NATO meeting followed the Trump modus operandi. It was classic Trump. It’s also the Trump administration modus operandi to fly into damage control to clean up and try to salvage the policy wreckage Trump leaves in his wake. Never fear though, because Hannity and a FOX News entourage now travel with Trump on these foreign trips to keep the Trump brainwashing messaging blaring 24/7, so that the Trump following, FOX News watching base doesn’t ever get a moment to go wobbly on Trump.
Trump is totally predictable, despite his spinners enthrallment with Trump’s supposed “stable genius”… He pays more attention to Sean Hannity than to top American national security experts in his own administration. He isn’t ever going to negotiate some magnificent deal for America. His national security team will believe Trump is on board with an agenda and like every other high-level meeting, Trump will walk into this meeting with Putin, throw his own team under the bus again and go rogue. That will generate the media sensation he desires and for Trump that is “winning”.
Trump also delights in making his own national security team look like fools, but they still will burn up the phone lines to America’s allies and jet around the world cleaning up Trump’s foreign policy wreckage.
The Russians’ reliance on propaganda and extreme information warfare methods, to control the Russian people and sow dissent to destabilize and weaken Western democracies, should be familiar to every Western leader, as it’s been the Russian SOP since, oh, around 1919.
America’s spin information war began in the 1990s, with the Democrats working with sympathetic mainstream media to relentlessly repeat their talking points, that manufacture opinion cascades. Those opinion cascades were ruthlessly used by Democrats and their media spinners to promote the belief that these manufactured opinion cascades represent “the will of the American people”. It’s been a ruthless propaganda war waged against the American people. In 2016, this spin war entered into a scorched earth level conflict, when Trump amassed a media army that could fight back against the Left’s lock on spin information warfare. The American people remain the target of both sides in this spin war and the American people are being ruthlessly manipulated by both sides. There are no winners, except for America’s adversaries.
Putin on the other hand will arrive at this meeting fully briefed, fully prepared and with a meticulously crafted plan on how to manipulate and manage Trump.
Putin won this meeting already. Trump just trashed NATO publicly and attacked the leaders of America’s closest allies, just like he attacked them at the G-7 before meeting with Kim Jong Un. These meetings are becoming as predictable as Trump’s rally road shows, where whenever his negative spin makes him worried his followers might turn on him, FOX news and the Trump spin troops rush to produce another Trump rally road show, so they can tout the “thousands of followers” crowd optic and showcase Trump surrounded with American flags as stage props.
The mainstream media in America and the media in Western Europe, following Trump’s NATO performance, will assuredly be shrieking about Trump being owned by Putin, which will assure that Trump will lash out on Twitter, in attacks against the media and attacks against America’s closest allies, if they make any noises of concern. If the negative spin gets too loud, well, it’s back to the Trump rally road shows and wrapping himself in the American flag.
So much “winning”…
The odds of Trump making a great deal with Russia are so minuscule, that it’s a sure bet Putin will come out the winner.
That’s my prediction.
“In recent days it’s been reported that President Trump wants to meet with President Vladimir Putin alone, one-on-one, at the beginning of their July 16th summit meeting.
“President Donald Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, according to a person familiar with the plans, before allowing other aides to join the highly anticipated encounter with the Russian leader.”
The Trump-hating Left, some remnants of the Never Trump crowd and a sizable part of the mainstream media invariably revert to predictable and overblown conspiracy theories and seeing ominous signs of “authoritarianism” or “Russian collusion” behind every Trump action. So, immediately following this report of Trump wanting to meet with Putin alone, Twitter erupted with allegations that Trump is meeting with his handler, Putin.
Pulling back from that Trump Derangement Syndrome ledge, it seems to me that Trump’s cagey comments, where he bends over backwards to praise Putin, could be that Trump fears the Russians do have dirt on him or perhaps he does have Russian financial dealings that he never disclosed or it could be that Trump, who loathes weakness, respects strong-men type despots. Then again, it might be that this one-on-one type meeting is the Trump deal-making style, where Trump believes he can size up, woo, and seal these foreign policy “deals” with America’s adversaries. The Trump buttering up adversaries might work on chumps Trump dealt with in the business world, but it will never work with America’s most committed adversaries.
Back in 2015, when Donald J. Trump entered the 2016 presidential race, his coterie of supporters, selling “the Trump mystique”, often used the talking point that Trump is a great businessman and dealmaker. This belief is still held by Trump followers, who fill stadiums at his rallies and by the same pundits who sold that 2015 talking point, despite the evidence from his many sketchy and failed business deals and the growing mountain of evidence from his “dealmaking” from the Oval Office.
Trump acts off of impulse and unbridled emotions, often behaving like a hysterical teenage girl rather than a grown man. Along with the unchecked emotions, he operates from the belief that he is smarter than everyone else and ergo whatever decisions he makes are infallible. He also frequently makes comments lamenting how former presidents created these foreign policy messes and left the mess for him to clean up.
Every president inherits some messes and more often than not, presidents leave office without having achieved all they had hoped to achieve. Where Trump differs from previous presidents is that he is singularly narcissistic, singularly clueless about governmental and foreign policy matters and he is the singularly most intellectually lazy president in modern history. He knows very little about the subjects he’s making consequential decisions about for America.
While Trump mouthpieces were giddy about Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un and sold Trump’s ridiculously overblown assertions about the great deal he struck with Kim Jong Un, with many even proclaiming that Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, it now looks like Trump was handily played by the North Koreans. Trump, without consulting U.S. military leaders, agreed to pause our military training exercises in the region and he got nothing in return from Kim Jong Un.
So, Kim Jong Un scored a major propaganda coup with the meeting, plus all of America’s adversaries learned that when Trump wants his critics on the Left to respect him and desperately wants to walk away with a deal, he’s willing to impulsively give away a lot… without any consultation with his advisers. This is the Trump negotiating style.
Couple Trump’s impulsive style with his aversion to paying attention to details, aversion to reading his briefing books, refusal to listen to military and foreign policy experts, or trust U.S. intelligence assessments, well, Trump really is that “loose cannon”, his political enemies dubbed him during the campaign.
Along with the reports about Trump wanting to meet Putin alone first, there are reports that Trump hasn’t read the briefing reports for this upcoming summit either and it’s apparent that once again he’s not preparing for an important meeting. It’s obvious Putin will walk away the winner and Trump is likely to give away a lot, again. I expect Trump to agree to cast some legitimacy on Russia’s annexation of Crimea and hand-off Syria to Russia and Assad. In return America will get a ramped up “Trump/Russian collusion” domestic information spin war from the Left and mainstream media and our allies will grow more wary of America as a reliable ally.
There’s one other predictable outcome. Other Trump cabinet officials will be jetting around the world for months after this summit, trying to clean up Trump’s messes that are sure to come from Trump’s reckless, impetuous and egomaniacal impulses.
Oh, and of course Trump will be tweeting that he struck the best deal ever…
Whenever you think our American political freak show can’t become more bizarre, just wait a day or two. Since 2015, when Donald J. Trump, tacky, brash, longtime Democrat funder, reality TV star, entered the 2016 presidential race, our national political news became The Trump Show.
President Trump, a leader who prefers a loudmouthed, ill-informed carnival barker approach to setting the moral tone of his presidency, remains more a symptom of our dysfunctional American polity than the disease. Trump is like black vomit, which although startling and jarring to see, remains but an outward sign of bleeding in your digestive tract. If you start puking up black vomit, it’s a sign of some serious underlying problem. Trust me, from my experience, when I tell you, black vomit is an alarming sight.
Here again, America’s black vomit doesn’t only spew from President Trump’s lips. It spews from both left and right, from prominent American politicians and “thought leaders” down to rabid, brain-dead citizens taking to both literal streets and the internet by-ways.
America endures political incitement efforts 24/7. President Trump and Maxine Waters level incitement may be direct assaults on our civil order, but they are not alone. The relentless media scorched earth SPIN information war being waged via all avenues of information – on TV, on social media and online forums and even in our entertainment, bombard us non-stop with extreme politicization.
Along with the Trump/Waters nuclear option verbal attacks, many other partisan verbal battles continue across the American media landscape. Weaponized words bombard us daily, blowing up not only every vestige of civility in our culture, but also reducing our language to a minefield of hidden meanings and subterfuge of cynical political distortions and fabrications. We are now living in an America where it really does seem to be a relativistic hell depending on what the meaning of “is” is.
A Trump mouthpiece, David Bossie, uttered the phrase “cotton pickin” to a black pundit on Fox News and America erupted into a racial debate, even though around the South, the phrase “cotton pickin”, being uttered by both blacks and whites, is as ubiquitous as sweet tea or pecan pie.
Jim Webb, former U.S. senator, wrote a gut-check op-ed about our extreme politicization of our language and crushing political correctness. Webb writes:
So, let’s sum this up. The host did not know what Mr. Bossie meant by using the phrase “cotton picking” and indicated that he and Fox News do not agree with it. In its opening sentence on the controversy, Yahoo characterized “cotton picking” as a “racist phrase.” And now I guess the rest of us are supposed to put down “cotton picking” as a cultural no-no that cannot be uttered in public because it violates the ever-growing lexicon of political correctness.
Really? Let me offer a few thoughts.
First, “Cotton picker” has long been a common phrase in much of the South, with no racial connotations. Throughout my life it has been slung around with about the same level of camaraderie as, “hey, dude.” When I was a kid there was even a country song, mostly instrumental, called “Cotton Picker.” Another popular song, sung mostly on the white folks bandwidth, laments “Them old cotton fields back home.” The phrase “cotton picking” has been a part of normal usage for generations from white to white, as in, “you don’t know a cotton picking thing about what you’re talking about.”
Second, I don’t know Mr. Payne but if he has Southern heritage he should not feel unique, personally or as an African-American, to have “some relatives who picked cotton.”
Memo to Mr. Payne: I’m proud of my mother’s journey, Joel. Very few people in this country of any ethnic origin had it harder than my mother, and nobody complained less. And along the way, my mother picked a LOT of cotton. She also picked a lot of strawberries. And harder still for the energy it took, she chopped a lot of cotton – not many people even remember what that meant.
President Trump and Maxine Waters are two peas in a putrid demagogic pod. They may point at each other and howl about the awfulness of the other, but the truth is they both behave as vile, ignorant, boorish cretins. That is the truth. Sadly, both of them place their partisan flame-throwing and incitement efforts above setting decent examples of civil behavior. They have plenty of company among the media at fueling these word game controversies. In the wee hours, the other night I retweeted this one:
libertybelle Retweeted Kyle Griffin
Leftists see ominous things in words that aren’t there. Around the military, they pitch tents and set up “camps” as shelter – even for American soldiers, we set up CAMPS…
The Left’s outrage machine, which imposes political correctness on America, feeds off of word controversy, much of it generated via spin attacks they wage on social media. The right moved into playing this faux outrage game when Trump parlayed his personal Twitter feed into a potent front against the Left and mainstream media’s lock on controlling the “national conversation” in America. Many pro-Trump pundits laud him as being a “disruptor” and equate his fact-free, high-octane tweets and vicious name-calling as “winning” against the Left’s spin, but each battle tears a bit more of the soul of our country apart.
Looking back, when Barack Obama became president a longtime political barrier was demolished. A black man holding the highest elected office in America rightly garnered a great deal of media attention. However, the deep partisan divides, even in 2008, created constant partisan flashpoints and fissures of unrest.
Our present bizarre political climate didn’t form in a vacuum. It follows decades of polarizing Leftist SPIN information warfare waged against the Right and the American people by the Left and mainstream media. The Clinton media gurus introduced the SPIN type info war into American politics and from there it blossomed into an all-out culture war against the Right and conservatives. President Obama used the Oval Office to foment racial discord and aid and abet the Black Lives Matter street activism against the police. Anger and feelings of political alienation fed the Right, which led to the Tea Party movement.
In 2016, both parties sold their souls to two very corrupt, extreme narcissists, who were willing to do or say anything to win. The fall-out from 2016 still litters our political landscape and the ruthless scorched earth information war continues, unabated.
America loses when morally bankrupt politicians and media promote and perpetuate this extremely corrupt spin information warfare against the American people. Spin cycles churn at such a fast rate now that perceptions and reactions far outpace the rate at which facts begin to catch up. Each side works to capitalize on that fact-void window of opportunity to lob verbal assaults, all to try to galvanize public opinion among our increasingly gullible and easily led public, which prefers to react rather than think or carefully study issues. It’s a shameless media shell game to dupe the American people, who have been brainwashed on Oprahesque emoting for decades. Neither side will ever win this spin mass media information war.
Only when some principled leaders on both sides renounce this scorched earth spin information war and begin the difficult process of reconstructing some common ground in our political landscape will we be able to begin rebuilding and uniting America around some shared American values again.
Digging out from under this suffocating pile of spin rubbish won’t be easy, but each small effort at rejecting reactionary spin sets us on a better path. I’m trying to take time to sift through these endless spin bombardments. My goal is to cultivate a habit of rejecting joining in any spin-driven outrage… from either side.
It’s way past time for Americans to calm down for a change. Let’s all stop being mindless reactionaries and work at learning how to be good citizens, who protect and respect The Constitution of the United States. Even more than that let’s treat all people with respect.
The reporting on the current American illegal alien high drama reminds me of the highly sensationalized crisis of Syrian refugees flooding western Europe a few years ago. I wrote a blog post, Adding It Up, back in 2015, where I jotted down the amounts spent by a group of Syrian refugees, which had 4 adults and one child, chronicled in a Washington Post piece, titled, The Black Route, by Anthony Faiola.
This chronicle was intended to pull at your heartstrings recounting the trials and travails of this group, but what struck me was that this group, if their accounting is truthful, spent over $20,000 to flee Syria and traverse Eastern Europe to arrive in Austria. I wondered where on earth they managed to come up with that amount of money to pay smugglers and to acquire a smart phone, which was needed to communicate via encrypted apps used to send and receive information to avoid apprehension, direct refugees to aid and relay messages.
This chronicle also mentioned NGOs along the route, set-up to assist refugees. I wondered what groups were funding these NGOs, to not only aid refugees, but also to help fuel this refugee crisis into western Europe. Common sense, upon reading these details, led me to suspect there were politically motivated groups working to foment the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe, playing on the misery of poor refugees.
Fast forward to this current child separation illegal immigration drama, with children being separated from their parents, the Left and media hysterically spinning this story to fuel anger and rage at President Trump… right when the IG report on the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation was released. The timing of the media hysteria about these children was obviously orchestrated. The hysterical talking points are obviously orchestrated too.
The perplexing issue for me is not the policy, it’s the way this crisis seems totally manufactured. If you were an illegal with a child, attempting to enter the United States and you knew that there was a zero tolerance policy in place or even knew the border agents were ramping up apprehensions, shouldn’t that lead to a decrease in illegal crossings?
Listening to the DHS secretary yesterday, she mentioned dramatic increases in illegals flooding the border. Long before the sensationalized news stories of illegal alien parents being separated from their children in the U.S. circled the globe the gossip along the illegal alien trail spread, so wouldn’t you expect a decrease in parents with children heading to the U.S border instead of dramatic increases?
This brought to mind the Syrian refugee crisis and once again, instead of wondering about the child separation policy, I began to wonder if there are political groups organizing, funding, encouraging, and working in Mexico and Central America to foment this border crisis? Are these groups working in concert with Democrats to orchestrate this crisis? And is the mainstream media complicit in selling an orchestrated crisis to damage President Trump and aid Democrats in the upcoming midterms?
It just smells like more orchestrated agitation propaganda being played against the American people… again.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday dismissed a legislative proposal backed by Republican leaders to keep immigrant families together at the border, arguing that President Trump could fix the problem more easily with a flick of his pen.
“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer told reporters. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”
Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump.
President Trump pulled several bait and switch messaging spin gambits with his reality TV summit extravaganza. The most disturbing was his surprise announcement that the U.S. was suspending military exercises in the region, unbeknownst to our top military leaders. Despite all the sycophantic hype about “Trump the stupendous deal-maker” and “Trump the multi-dimensional strategic genius”, the truth is he is neither and is, in fact, a clueless nincompoop on foreign policy, international diplomacy, and the historical intricacies of dealing with other countries.
Why on earth the president decided to promote Putin’s inclusion in the G-7 meeting and then attack America’s staunchest allies at the G-7, before jetting off to his sideshow summit to kiss the butt of a thug communist despot like Kim Jong Un boggles the mind. Why did he feel the need to praise Kim and tout him as a respected leader, concerned with the welfare of the North Korean people?
The Trump/Russian collusion narrative the mainstream media and Left hyped turned into a disaster for the Dems and a boon for Trump, due to the relentless spin efforts of the mainstream media selling a steady stream of Clinton/Obama/Dem opposition hit pieces, like the Steele dossier, as legitimate news. As I’ve stated many times, both campaigns engaged in “Russian collusion”, trying to acquire dirt on their opponent from Russian sources. The Steele and Shearer dossiers claim high-level Kremlin sources, which would make those efforts successful Clinton/Russian collusion. The Trump campaign has the failed Don Jr. meeting with the Russian lawyer and a Republican operative, Peter Smith, trying to hire a Brit intel agency to buy Hillary’s emails from Russian hackers.
Despite it being highly unlikely that Putin “colluded” directly with Trump or the Trump campaign, President Trump behaves like he’s afraid of Putin and like he has something to hide. The President Trump heading to the G-7 meeting and going on a campaign to advocate that Putin should be invited too follows a long habit of Trump to sell the Russian messaging. Again, this raises the question, “Why?” Why does the president of the United States adopt and try to sell the American people pathetic Russian messaging?
Fast forward to the Trump summit bait and switch, and here is the president selling Kim as a great leader concerned about the North Korean people, but even worse he adopted communist messaging attacking the legitimacy of the American military mission in the region. To sell this truly unconscionable and borderline treasonous crap communist messaging, he pulled a con job selling it to his followers as an effort to save the American taxpayers from wasteful spending.
In our hyper-partisan echo-chambers, each side will dig in, but we all should check our partisan hats when it comes to American national security and foreign policy. Love Trump or hate him, there’s something very wrong with an American president kowtowing to despots, whether that president be President Obama kissing up to Cuban and Iranian thugs or President Trump kissing up to Putin and Kim Jong Un.
This President is as much a foreign policy nightmare as Obama – that’s the unvarnished truth.