So, let me get this straight…yesterday’s Defcon 1 freakout over Trump’s presser with Vladimir Putin was over the fact that Trump did not condemn the Russian leader, in public, for his nation’s meddling in the 2016 election. Trump also implied, somewhat surprisingly, that he did not accept the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had, in fact, meddled. I say “somewhat surprisingly,” because the President has said multiple times, over the past year, that he does accept that assessment. And, sure enough, today he said that, upon reviewing the transcript of his remarks, he realized that he “misspoke” (“misspoke” being the new euphemism that politicians use when they are saying that they really stepped in it).
Of course, many of the former leaders of the intelligence community under Obama were quick out of the gate with hysterical, over-the-top accusations of Trump’s blasphemy. First and foremost of these was the vile John Brennan, CIA Director under President Obama, who tweeted:
“Nothing short of treasonous,” huh? Says the guy who voted for the Communist Party candidate for president in 1976, during the height of the Cold War. Not a guy whom I would consider super credible on matters related to Russia. While head of the CIA, Brennan also contended that there were no innocent civilians killed as a result of Obama’s drone attacks, despite later testifying that the CIA kept a list of those civilians. Oh, and his CIA apparently kept tabs on anyone remotely connected to the Trump campaign, who may have spoken to any Russian, during or after the 2016 campaign, despite the fact that all of those Americans had their constitutional rights violated by his agency.
Last but not least, it was John Brennan who requested that the FBI open an investigation into the Trump campaign, based on unverified information, and without ever providing a defensive briefing to the candidate himself. And that investigation has done more to divide and harm this country than anything that a bunch of Russian trolls ever did.
But, sure, we’re supposed to accept Brennan’s judgement that Trump committed treason by implying that the CIA and FBI have not always done things on the up-and-up. We’re also supposed to accept Brennan’s contention that, by meeting with the Russian leader, the US President did something shockingly unpatriotic. No matter that every US president has met with every Russian leader since FDR and Stalin.
To be sure, Trump is far too prone to shoot from the hip, and, this time, he enraged even many members of his own party. But the intelligence community has shown itself to be dangerously willing to work against a commander in chief who does not accept its views on foreign relations, and that seems, to me, to be a bit closer to “treasonous” behavior than not punching Putin in the nose, during a televised press conference.
I’m not always in agreement with Rand Paul on foreign policy, but his op-ed in Politico today made more sense than 95% of the media and the political class,
“I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue.”