Did Vladimir Putin want Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential election?
I don’t know, let’s ask him.
Got that? When asked, at a press conference, televised around the globe, whether he wanted Trump to win, Putin responded:
Yes. Yes I did.
There is a non-negligible chance that if Democrats gain ground in the November midterms, Donald Trump’s presidency will be at risk. The U.S. intelligence community has unequivocally stated, on the record, and on too many occasions to count, that the Kremlin is targeting the midterms.
Just 48 hours after the Putin press conference, asked whether that assessment (i.e., that Russia is engaged in operations to influence the vote in November), the President said “no”.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders would try (and fail) to claim that Trump didn’t say what he in fact said there, but her protestations aside, the President said what he said.
Since then, Trump has threatened to revoke the security clearances of multiple officials who have challenged him on the Russia issue and reports from inside the White House suggested that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats might lose his job after he first refuted claims Trump made in Helsinki and then laughed at the proposition of Vladimir Putin visiting the White House.
Given all of the above, try to appreciate the sheer absurdity inherent in the following tweet Trump sent out on Tuesday afternoon:
I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
So America is supposed to believe that the Kremlin is actively trying to engineer a Democratic sweep in the midterms because Moscow is concerned about how “tough” Trump has been on Russia.
That, even as Putin explicitly said “yes” to a question about whether he wanted Trump to win in 2016 and after Trump explicitly said “no” when asked if Russia was in fact trying to influence the midterms.
This has descended into utter farce.
"covfefe" gauge… pic.twitter.com/TO3RFFMsJ4
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) July 24, 2018