Post-Helsinki fallout continues

Donald trump continues to cop a lot of flak from across the political spectrum after his astonishing assertions at the press conference in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin, and his would/wouldn’t waffling all over the place since.

Wall Street Journal: The Trump First Doctrine

Putin respects strength but Trump showed weakness.

I think that most people respect strength, as long as it is not misused.

Strong language – often ridiculously strong in Trump’;s case, especially when praising himself, does not automatically convey strength.

Donald Trump left for Europe a week ago with his reputation enhanced by a strong Supreme Court nomination. He returned Monday with that reputation diminished after a tumultuous week of indulging what amounts to the Trump First Doctrine.

Mr. Trump marched through Europe with more swagger than strategy. His diplomacy is personal, rooted in instinct and impulse, and he treats other leaders above all on how much they praise Donald J. Trump. He says what pops into his head to shock but then disavows it if there’s a backlash….

It’s still debatable whether this is incompetent uncertainty, or deliberate chaos.

Howard Kurtz at Fox News – Slamming the script: Why the press is dismissing the president’s do-over

At a minimum, President Trump deserves credit for saying what he should have said to Vladimir Putin, that he accepts the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. He may have been pressured into saying it–not just by the media furor but by Mike Pence, John Kelly, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, according to reports—but he said it nonetheless.

What drew particular skepticism was Trump’s explanation that he misspoke one word, that he meant to say “wouldn’t” and not “would,” as in “I don’t see any reason why it would” be Russia.

CNN’s Erin Burnett said Trump was making a “dog ate my homework” alibi, adding: “How stupid does Trump think we Americans are? The president’s excuse for his embarrassing press conference, where he sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence chiefs, does not add up.”

Slate called Trump’s Tuesday walkback “only a little less disgraceful” than Helsinki, under the headline: “Nothing Trump Says Can Be Trusted.”

In a more sophisticated vein, The Washington Post offered these observations:

“The way he delivered his statement of retreat was classic Trump, a dual message — a ritual statement of confidence in U.S. intelligence officials for those who insist that the president respect the nation’s systems and mores, but also winks and nods to those who like Trump expressly because he’s eager to smash china and topple tradition …

“The signals had been sent, a quick wave of a white flag for those who insist on such things, and a zesty little aside, a wink and a nod, to those who needed assurance that their renegade president would never cave to the swamp dwellers, never back away from his commitment to blow up the old, failed ways of Washington.”

So is all this the indelible stain that the sustained media outrage would suggest? The New York Times deserves credit for posing the question:

“The question was whether he had reached a genuine turning point or simply endured another one of those episodes that seems decisive but ultimately fades into the next one.”

Trump has got away with an extraordinary amount since he became a candidate, and since he became president.

Time will tell whether this would’wouldn’t debacle will become just another clusterfuck in a chaotic reign, or if it becomes a tipping point.

Cosying up to Putin and to Russia while slamming the US intelligence community and only sort of back tracking may not go down as well as his ongoing bickering against the likes of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Whether this will increase the attrition in a White House that churns disillusioned and frustrated staff may be one of the more difficult things to deal with – but as more people get pissed off and leave Trump he may become more unfettered and feckless.

Some things have been achieved and successes should continue, but an air of incompetence won’t blow over while Trump continues stoking a chaotic cacophony.

Leave a comment


  1. David

     /  20th July 2018

    While the economy carries on growing very quickly, the labour participation rate improving and wages are rising the only people who care about Russia and who said what are the cable news companies and newspapers who are doing a brisk business driving the 73 news cycle a day.
    If the Dems think going into the mid terms with their message being Trump is a lunatic with the assistance of their media mates then their blue wave is finished. People will just look at their pay packet fat from tax cuts, overtime, pay rises and bonuses and go Yeah he is is a bit lose but he has the place humming.

  2. Loony Nunes: DOJ, FBI ‘banking’ on Republicans losing in midterms to take heat off

    The timing of the Justice Department’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents last week was “very hard to believe,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on “Hannity” Wednesday.

    A federal grand jury on Friday indicted the agents for allegedly hacking emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party during the 2016 election — just days before Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

    That’s already been explained – Trump was given a choice about the timing and gave the ok.

    The indictment also dropped shortly after House Republicans publicly questioned FBI agent Peter Strzok for the first time, and held a private meeting with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

    “You might give them the benefit of the doubt, but why does this always happen?” Nunes, R-Calif., asked. “Every time something happens on one side where we find out a new revelation about what appears to be real problems in the FBI and DOJ with this investigation, all of a sudden, they drop an indictment.”

    But FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday night at a forum in Aspen, Colorado: “I’m going to let the indictment speak for itself.” He also defended Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying, “I think it is a professional investigation conducted by a man I’ve known to be a straight shooter.”

    But Nunes goes into conspiracy mode:

    He added: “They would love to see Republicans lose. I hate to say that, but I have to believe that the Department of Justice and FBI, the people at leadership, they are banking on a loss by the Republicans in the fall.”

    If Democrats take over the House in November, “they’re going to drop all of this investigation — they’re not going to do anything on this investigation,” Nunes charged.

  3. NOEL

     /  20th July 2018

    I’m inclined to believe that he did go off script with the word but it was a subconscious decision to do so. That’s indicative of his true stance on the issue, not his script writers.

    • Surely someone would have had a word in his ear so that he could correct himself.

      The sentence didn’t sound as if it was not meant to be as he said it.

      If he had made a mistake, why didn’t he correct it earlier ?

  4. Traveller

     /  20th July 2018

    This is a hallowed Trump tweet that is bang on as far as the hypocrisy meter goes.

  5. Blazer

     /  20th July 2018

    very good Trav…

    • I’m not remotely a Trump supporter Blazer.

      He’s not a man I see looking back at me when I look in a mirror and we don’t share values. I’m atheist but I am a believer in fairness and the two parent family, not the find a new model type like he clearly is. I find his hairstyling off the mark and his tan too orange. However, I am confounded by the hysteria and the tag team brainwashed public who literally criticise everything about him and his Presidency.

      I always imagined myself a Democrat at heart, favouring state funded health (well to their left on many issues (guns)as you might expect from any Kiwi). However, since the media seem, almost to a man and woman, brainwashed, I’ve reassessed that.

      US politics has descended into a gotcha collective hysteria verging on mass insanity. Believe me, I’ve just had a Californian lib staying for a week and it’s been tough.

      Pointing out the uranium thing, the FACT that Mueller took Putin a sample and” where were they when Hillary and Obama were appeasing and capitulating”, all I could garner was “When the Dems do it I trust them”

      I feel I’m just one voice pointing out the hysteria is all.

      • I don’t believe it is hysteria, that’s a word too often used to put down those who express real concern about what this orange clown is doing to the US and the world.

        He charged through Europe, telling people how to run their countries and showing a total lack of respect to the Queen, a woman of 92 who would be expected to be treated with a bit of consideration if nothing else.

        He is a sexist pig who says that disturbed young women are the best to have sex with and laughs in agreement when his daughter is described as a piece of ass instead of walking out (or rearranging the features of the person who said it) His behaviour towards women is appalling and I pity his poor wife. Have you seen the footage of him with a large umbrella that he is holding over himself while his wife and child are being soaked by the rain and blown about by the wind ?

        He is quite happy to bring in cheap immigrant gast-arbeiten workers for himself while condemning this in others.

        He is an abusive, offensive liar.

        He lies about his money and the disclosure of his taxes….still waiting.

        The man is a menace. If he was just a buffoon it wouldn’t be so bad, but he is a megalomaniac.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th July 2018

    If you want good words vote Obama. If you want good deeds vote Trump.

    The world divides accordingly.

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  20th July 2018

    Today 23 companies and associations are pledging to expand apprenticeships. That’s an interesting word for me to be saying, right? ‘The Apprentice,’. I never actually put that together until just now. That was a good experience, I will tell you that. Isn’t that strange? Ivanka, I never associated, but here we are. Can’t get away from that word. That’s a great word. For on-the-job training and vocational education.”

    If all the idiots in the villages all left their villages and formed their own village of idiots, in that village trump would be the village idiot.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th July 2018

      Strange then that the world’s media can write about little else. Nor can you.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  20th July 2018

        We’re all gobsmacked at watching a new slow-motion train wreck every day.

        ‘sides which if we all listened to the likes of you then all of trump’s corruption, misogyny, rascism, and general fuckwittery would be swept under the carpet like it never existed.

        • A man of 60 who talks about sex with disturbed teenagers (and he said it on camera) being the best because of their issues with their fathers (and other things) and discusses the freckles on a redhaired teenager’s chest is a dirty old man.

          A man whose new wife is pregnant and who talks about grabbing women’s genitals and trying to fuck a married woman (fuck was his word) as if she was a bitch and how even offers of payment won’t persuade her is a creep.

          His remarks about menstrual blood were grossly inappropriate.

          He’s revolting !

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th July 2018

          Unfortunately for the Left, their expected Trump train-wreck keeps getting postponed indefinitely. Meanwhile the US economy booms, unemployment is minimal and Obama’s international disasters are being mended. Of course they hate that. What lunatic wouldn’t?

          • Griff

             /  20th July 2018

            Tell me Alan .
            Is there any change in the trends since Obama ?
            Why no the indices have merely continued on about the same .
            But Obama was the worst president ever and Trump the best ?
            Trump inherited a strong economy after this short of time you can not apportion any thing to trump besides not fuckin up what was already proceeding.
            Maybe in a year or two if there is a change in trend you might be able to celebrate trumps administration.

            There is a not insignificant chance that trumps trade wars will cause a down turn .
            Why to believe that ?
            Because that is the majority view of economists .
            Just google economic effects of trade war to see what I mean.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th July 2018

              Mostly fair comment, Griff. The Dow though was pretty stuck for 3 years prior to Trump and has taken off since.

  8. Zedd

     /  20th July 2018

    would/wouldnt.. could/couldnt.. should/shouldnt.. tremendous, fantastic, amazing, spectacular.. sounding like a ‘stuck record’.. no real substance, just inane drivel !

  9. wooden goat

     /  20th July 2018

    If Clinton had won the 2016 election there would have been a nuclear war by now (given how much she, the rest of the Left and the MSM hate Russia).

    Call me old-fashioned but I would have thought that Trump’s positive approach to Russia was better than a nuclear war.

    • Gezza

       /  20th July 2018

      Oh yes. Clinton would start a nuclear war. Just like every US Predident has since Truman.

      Keep it real.

      • Griff

         /  20th July 2018

        Yess Clinton hates Russia
        Yet in another thread we get Clinton sold uranium to Russia.
        Is it not strange how inconsistent the gibbering right are……..

  1. Post-Helsinki fallout continues — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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