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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Advice From Down Under

For John, BLUFSome of us are getting overly excited.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From The Interpreter, The Lowry Institute, Mr Sam Roggeveen, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program, 18 July 2018.

Here is the start:

There are still two-and-a-half years to go in US President Donald Trump’s first term, and I’m concerned about his critics.  They need to pace themselves.  This level of outrage just cannot be maintained.

When it comes to the instantly infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, they also need to turn off the Twitter outrage machine so they can get themselves some fresh air and a little perspective, although Wednesday’s muddled “clarification” from Trump is sending them back to their keyboards and into another frenzy.

Those arguing Trump is in Putin’s pocket need to cite some examples of what Trump actually surrendered in Helsinki, other than his dignity.

Granted, it is unusual in the extreme for a US president to openly criticise their own intelligence community, but emphasis on the “openly”.  It’s not unusual for presidents to question what their spies are telling them, and in fact the world could use a bit more scepticism from US presidents when it comes to their daily intelligence briefing.  If one of Trump’s predecessors had been a bit less credulous about the intelligence assessments crossing his desk, Trump wouldn’t be president today.

Yes, Trump performed poorly in Helsinki, but treason?  “In the pocket of Putin”?

Treason is a word, if not offered in a hyperbolic sense, which demands action.  It demands action now.  It means people like Mssers Comey, Brennan and Mueller are phonies, because almost eighteen months after inauguration, President Trump is still in office.

On the other hand, I think the Treason talk is just hot air and poor taste.

Regards  —  Cliff

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