To borrow from President Franklin Roosevelt’s opening remarks in his speech to Congress on December 8th, 1941, I believe it can be said that July 16th, 2018 is also a date which will live in infamy. It was a day on which an American president stood next to and stood up for the president of the Russian Federation versus the word of America's intelligence agencies, run by his own political appointees, in response to a clear and direct question from Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire about the U. S. intelligence community's report that Russians had directly interfered in the 2016 elections — a charge which Putin has consistently denied, and which was just reaffirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of twelve Russian intelligence officers last week.
Q: "Who do you believe? Would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016, and would you warn him to never do it again?"
A: ‘President Putin says it’s not Russia . . . and I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia].”
Instead of defending the findings of the country's intelligence agencies and publicly supporting its most valued law enforcement and intelligence resources, while sharing a stage with President Putin, Donald Trump launched into a rambling, rancorous, and risible monologue about ’servers,’ 'Hillary Clinton’s emails,’ ‘a Pakistani gentleman who worked for the DNC,’ and multiple plaints about ‘What happened to [those] servers? Where are they?”
It was a disgraceful performance by Donald Trump, an astonishing moment for all in the room and those watching around the globe, an unrivaled embarrassment for American citizens, and a senseless, indiscriminate utterance that suggested a reversal of seven decades of (mostly) bipartisan national security policy, capping off several days of a shallow, shabby show of disrespect and dissembling throughout Europe.
If Donald Trump believes Putin, he is a fool. If he was there to placate or pander to Putin, he is a coward. If he said it because he seeks alignment with Putin rather than America’s traditional allies in NATO and the EU, he is in violation of his oath, of the Constitution, and has met the standard for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Now, let us see whether we have a Congress and an administration of patriots or quislings, combatants or collaborators.