When you’re scrolling the weekly mainstream news, there’s a scarce chance that you won’t find some outlandish claims being made against Donald Trump.
At the Helsinki summit, the US leader could not find a critical word to say about any of the issues which have previously strained the relationship between the two powers since the Cold War.
And yet Trump’s performance at a joint media conference in Helsinki roused a fury of disapproval in the United States.
When asked if he believed US intelligence agencies which concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump stated, ‘I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia].’
This sparked massive waves of criticism from the media, Democrats, and even from within Trump’s own party.
Former CIA chief John Brennan described Trump’s behaviour as ‘treasonous.’ While US senator John McCain called the meeting with Mr Putin a ‘tragic mistake’ and ‘one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.’
This comes after reports that the white house has been struggling to dispel a suggestion that Mr Trump was reluctant to stand up to Mr Putin.
Trump back tracks claiming he ‘misspoke’
Now, Trump says he misspoke at the joint news conference. ‘The sentence should have been, “I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of ‘why it would,’ Mr Trump said.
But don’t be distracted by all the criticism and arguments on whether the president misspoke or sided with Putin at the summit.
Instead, people should be taking note of what the American president is trying to achieve between the two powers.
‘I hold both countries responsible. I think the US has been foolish. We’ve been all foolish,’ Donald Trump said.
Hours after the Helsinki summit, Trump tweeted, ‘I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people. However, I also recognise that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past — as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!’
Trump’s political opponents, at home and abroad, should consider whether scoring points against him is worth derailing the possibility of de-escalating tensions between Russia and the world.
By Leah Wallace
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