Donald Trump kicked off #TreasonSummit 2018 in Helsinki on Monday by striking a surprisingly hardline stance on Russia right out of the proverbial gate.
I’m just kidding.
Trump underscored the notion that he has no real list of goals or concrete expectations for this summit (something he said himself in an interview with CBS’s Jeff Glor, clips from which made the rounds over the weekend) when he delivered the following series of characteristically nonsensical remarks at the opening photo op:
We have a lot of good things to talk about, and we have a lot of things to talk about. We have discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China.
As usual, it’s not clear that Trump understands how to use the English language, because “military” and “nuclear” are generally adjectives, not nouns. But you can forgive him, because after all, he’s speaking in something other than his native Russian tongue.
Here’s the clip:
Trump also congratulated Putin on holding a successful soccer tournament.
Notably, Putin seems to be even more amused than usual at this whole spectacle, donning his trademark smirk, while a visibly nervous Trump oscillates between giddy and terrified.
Bloomberg notes that “Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half-hour late, while Trump didn’t depart the resort home where he was meeting with advisers for the summit until after the Russian leader arrived at the presidential palace.”
That absurd bit of posturing ended up delaying this whole thing by an hour.
Obviously, Trump is under tremendous pressure to press Putin on election meddling, especially in light of the Department of Justice’s move to indict 12 Russian operatives for interfering in the 2016 election just 72 hours ahead of the summit.
In the same CBS interview mentioned above, Trump suggested he’d consider asking Putin to extradite the accused, but that’s obviously a laughable proposition.
On Monday, prior to the meeting, Trump blamed the FBI investigation into Russian meddling for a deterioration in Washington’s relationship with the Kremlin:
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Russia responded from their official Foreign Ministry account:
We agree https://t.co/7l087Qwmj3
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) July 16, 2018
And with that, the farce is complete.