Today Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump spent the day in Helsinki, having a discussion on world politics. Points were made, and counterpoints were offered. Nothing much other than starting an open dialog was accomplished, and by all measures that was our President’s goal and from that standpoint the meeting was successful.
They met for several hours alone. That was purposeful, because the conversation would revolve around stark differences in world view, and that I’m sure was contentious. Syria, Crimea and the Ukraine, Russian election meddling were a few of the subjects that were discussed. Harsh words were most likely used, and Mr. Putin would deny meddling, and rationalize Crimea and the Ukraine, Syria and other points of difference. The point is he was called out in private, which is the diplomatic way to handle differences. That meeting was purposefully private, and will never be aired in public discourse.
Afterwards, there was a more public working lunch meeting, where Russian and American staff members were given a chance to discuss these same issues. As expected, the tone would be more conciliatory, given the fact that both Putin and Trump do want to establish a working relationship, and their respective staff’s honored their leaders positions.
In short, with the exception of establishing the beginnings of a working relationship, there was nothing else that could be honestly reported. The news conference showed that each man showed great deference and respect for each other, and a harsh word was not uttered by either. The Q&A with reporters was more contentious, with questions asked about collusion, Russian interference, and an AP reporter bluntly asked Mr. Putin about “what evidence do you have about Mr. Trump’s visit to Russia years ago”? These questions were never to be answered in this forum, the reporters knew it, but they were searching for headlines and a narrative they could post with their respective MSM’s.
The MSM’s are now in full tilt, reporting on what they hope is the confirmation of our President in full collusion with Russia. They are speculating that Mr. Trump has been in the pocket of Mr. Putin all along and that the press conference proves that. It does not, they know it, but it would not be a story without their creative narratives.
Back to Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Interesting that he releases 12 indictments of Russian Agents in regard to election meddling right before the President arrives at Helsinki. One has to wonder if this was a favor to the President, or more fodder for the media? Sealed indictments would be more effective to actually capture those indicted if that were a goal of the special prosecutor. Mr. Mueller’s team has actually done a great job digging through evidence to find Russia meddling. I don’t think anyone doubts that the Russians were bad players in the 2016 election, and most everyone knows that then President Obama and his Justice department did nothing to stop it. Right now the media is using the 12 indictments as evidence of Trump collusion with the Russians, voicing that in spite of this evidence, the President still publicly “looked the other way” at Russian election meddling. It is not in the best interest of the President’s goal of establishing a working relationship by publicly outing Putin, but that point has been lost on most reporting.
In our era of 24/7 media coverage, the expectations of citizens were much higher than that of either Presidents Trump or Putin. They came to create the beginnings of a relationship. The media was reporting how President Trump should be very harsh with Putin, letting him know we will not stand for his behavior and election meddling needs to end now. Not the best way to accomplish the singular goal of establishing a relationship, is it? Setting the expectations so high with their prior reporting gave them the ability to develop a more believable narrative of collusion, and that is the story that they are weaving right now. It seems that the MSM’s are neither truthful or honorable when it comes to reporting on our President. All that seems to matter is discrediting the President, and they will use any method to do so. Incredibly dishonest, but also effective in the never-ending news cycle.