Click on WORD or PDF for full content
Caroline Glick makes sense of Helsinki and the Left’s reactions.
Did US President Donald Trump commit treason in Helsinki when he met Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin? Should he be impeached?
That is what his opponents claim. Former president Barack Obama’s CIA director John Brennan accused Trump of treason outright.
Brennan tweeted, “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki [with Putin] rises to and exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous.”
Fellow senior Obama administration officials, including former FBI director James Comey, former defense secretary Ashton Carter, and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates parroted Brennan’s accusation.
Almost the entire US media joined them in condemning Trump for treason. …
… AP reporter John Lemire placed Trump in an impossible position. Noting that Putin denied meddling in the 2016 elections and the intelligence community insists that Russia meddled, he asked Trump, “Who do you believe?”
If Trump had said that he believed his intelligence community and gave no credence to Putin’s denial, he would have humiliated Putin and destroyed any prospect of cooperative relations.
Trump tried to strike a balance. He spoke respectfully of both Putin’s denials and the US intelligence community’s accusation. It wasn’t a particularly coherent position. It was a clumsy attempt to preserve the agreements he and Putin reached during their meeting.
And it was blindingly obviously not treason.
In fact, Trump’s response to Lemire, and his overall conduct at the press conference, did not convey weakness at all. Certainly he was far more assertive of US interests than Obama was in his dealings with Russia.
In Obama’s first summit with Putin in July 2009, Obama sat meekly as Putin delivered an hour-long lecture about how US-Russian relations had gone down the drain.
As Daniel Greenfield noted at Frontpage magazine Tuesday, in succeeding years, Obama capitulated to Putin on anti-missile defense systems in Poland and the CzechRepublic, on Ukraine, Georgia and Crimea. Obama gave Putin free rein in Syria and supported Russia’s alliance with Iran on its nuclear program and its efforts to save the Assad regime. He permitted Russian entities linked to the Kremlin to purchase a quarter of American uranium. And of course, Obama made no effort to end Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
TRUMP IN contrast has stiffened US sanctions against Russian entities. He has withdrawn from Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. He has agreed to sell Patriot missiles to Poland. And he has placed tariffs on Russian exports to the US.
So if Trump is Putin’s agent, what was Obama? …
… So far, unlike Obama’s foreign policy by this point in his presidency, none of Trump’s exchanges have brought disaster on America or its allies. To the contrary, America and its allies have much greater strategic maneuver room across a wide spectrum of threats and join adversaries than they had when Obama left office.
Trump’s opponents’ obsession with bringing him down has caused great harm to his presidency and to America’s position worldwide. It is a testament to Trump’s commitment to the US and its allies that he met with Putin this week. And the success of their meeting is something that all who care about global security and preventing a devastating war in the Middle East should be grateful for.