While snap polling on events is not always reliable, a poll taken in the days after the summit showed that the partisan divide over Donald Trump has deepened. Nearly 80% of Republicans polled approved of the post-summit press conference of the two Presidents, while 90% of Democrats disapproved.
Perhaps more telling, however, was a Gallup poll of late June, before the summit, which showed that of the concerns facing the American people, the category of the "Situation with Russia" shows up at less than 1%! Though most Democratic Party elected officials have denounced the summit and the post-summit press conference between the two leaders in such stark terms that it is accurate to say the Party has joined the Republicans as a "War Party", the same is not true of many Democratic voters. The Party was deeply split during the nominating process of 2016, with nearly one-half of Democratic votes going to Sen. Bernie Sanders against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, who was openly supporting the Obama-Bush policies of regime change, including calls for a "no-fly zone" over Syria, which raised the real possibility of warfare between the U.S. and Russia. Trump made the issue of Clinton's provocative stance against Russia, and her support of regime change wars, a central feature of his successful campaign against her.
Given these poll results, it is probable that a majority of Americans can be won over to support the President, were he to present his intention clearly and persistently, and explain the benefits of such cooperation. In the days following his summit meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong-un in Singapore, polls uniformly showed strong support for Trump's initiative, despite the hostile attacks from his opponents. The President made a point of thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders -- including President Putin -- for their role in enabling the Singapore summit to be a success.
The same cannot be said for his opponents, who have engaged in outright sabotage against Trump's stated desire to achieve peaceful cooperation with Russia since he first expressed it, in the early stage of his campaign. The narrative of "Russiagate" -- the allegations that Russia "meddled" in the U.S. election and that Trump "colluded" with the Russians -- was designed to prevent him from reaching out to Putin. Even as a growing number of Americans have come to see Mueller's Russiagate investigation negatively, the special counsel intervened, with pre-summit indictments against twelve Russian officials, a naked effort to blow up the summit. A number of Democrats, including Congressional leaders Schumer in the Senate and Pelosi in the House demanded that the summit be cancelled, unless Trump denounced Putin for his meddling, and made the summit about forcing a confession from Putin.
"Nothing Short of Treasonous..."
Trump's attack in his post-summit press conference against the post-Cold War consensus, which continued the approach of imperial geopoliticians of dividing the world into "us versus them," provoked a rash of frenzied denunciations. These frequently included the serious charge that he committed "treason" by saying he has more trust in Putin's words than in the "findings" of the U.S. intelligence community. Former CIA Director John Brennan, who played a leading role in initiating the fraud of Russiagate, was one of the first to say this, in a tweet within minutes of the conclusion of the event.
Trump's performance at the press conference, he tweeted, "rises to and exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin." He concluded with a call to "Republican Patriots: Where are you???"
A number of Republicans did back up Brennan, including the usual stable of anti-Trumpers, such as Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. McCain called the summit one of the "most disgraceful performances in memory." Republicans Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell joined in, attacking Russia as an "enemy", and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has presented himself as an ally of Trump, added this is the "most serious mistake of his presidency." David Frum, a neocon who served as a speech writer for George W. Bush, who coined the term "Axis of Evil" in the promotion of the Bush-Cheney Iraq War, said the U.S. now faces "a national security emergency."
On the Democratic side, Trump's initiative was met with an unprecedented level of hyperbolic vituperation. Senator Schumer opened his press conference saying, "In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an adversary the way President Trump has supported Putin." House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer stated "I agree with John Brennan, who said it was nothing short of treasonous," while Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steven Cohen (R-TN), who demanded that the U.S. military take action against Trump, said the U.S. should have retaliated with a "cyber attack that would have crippled Russia." Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal asked, "What does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?"
The Media Turns into Orwell's "Two Minutes Hate"
In George Orwell's novel "1984", the regime whips the population into a mass frenzy through the "Two Minute Hate," in which lies against the regime's enemies are repeated at high pitch before crowds of people crowded around large screens. The media reaction to the Trump-Putin summit called to mind this technique, as both reporters and pundits viciously denounced the two Presidents.
Leading the way was CNN, with Anderson Cooper calling this "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American President." This event was "shocking," "stunning", "astonishing", a "depressing moment", made me "sick to my stomach", according to its correspondents, with national political reporter John King calling it a "surrender summit." In its lead editorial, The Washington Post wrote that "Mr. Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power." The New York Times, not to be outdone, ran a pornographic cartoon of Trump and Putin in an homo-erotic embrace, while one of its lead columnists, Charles Blow, headlined his article "Trump, Treasonous Traitor." The tabloid New York Daily News had on its cover a cartoon of Trump holding hands with Putin, while firing a bullet into the head of Uncle Sam.
A few other examples from more "upscale" publications suffice to make the point. James Fallows of The Atlantic wrote that Trump is either a "useful idiot" or a "conscious tool" of Russia. Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich asked in New York Magazine, "Why is an American president openly colluding with an enemy dictator who's out to subvert Western democracy in general and America in particular?" Perhaps the prize for inventive nonsense goes to Jonathan Chait, who wrote in New York Magazine an article musing on the possibility that Trump was recruited by Russian agents during a trip to Moscow in 1987. There is a "small but real chance," he scribbles, "that the President of the United States has been covertly influenced or personally compromised by a hostile power for decades...."
Even normally pro-Trump press got into the act, with John Roberts of Fox News reporting that the "consensus" is that Trump "threw the U.S. under the bus," while The Wall Street Journal characterized the press conference as a "national embarrassment." Those who dared to defend Trump were not spared the onslaught. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican who said that Trump's efforts are designed to prevent future wars, was called a traitor by David Corn, a Mother Jones columnist who first leaked the story of the anti-Trump Christopher Steele fake dossier, while Glenn Greenwald was denounced as a "Russian agent" by MSNBC's Malcolm Nance.
The anti-Trumpers are hoping to get Trump to back down, even as they march ahead with an effort to impeach him. While Trump has backtracked on a couple statements from the press conference, he remains defiant, insisting that as President, his concern is for the future safety of Americans, and the world. In his press conference with Putin, he took at pre-emptive shot at the attacks he anticipated, stating, "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."
He has taken that political risk. It is now up to the American people to openly reject the hatred displayed by his opponents, and back the fight for President Trump to take the country into the New Paradigm which has emerged, as an alternative to the dangerous desires of the imperial geopoliticians.
President Trump Has Invited Putin to the White House—Discussions Are Under Way
July 19, 2018 (EIRNS)—White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted this afternoon that President Trump has invited President Putin to the White House this fall.
“In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working-level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” referring to the President of the United States and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
In a morning tweet, President Trump had said, “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems—but they can ALL be solved!”
Later, he tweeted “The media is going Crazy!
“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!
“They make up stories without any backup, sources or proof. Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction. Problem is, when you complain you just give them more publicity. But I’ll complain anyway!”
In any case, the fake news hysteria against the Helsinki summit in no way represents the view of the American people. The latest Axios/SurveyMonkey poll released today shows that 79% of Republicans approved what President Trump said in his press conference with President Putin. Only 18% disapproved.
Russian Embassy Gets Permission To Visit Maria Butina, Jailed in Washington
July 19, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Russian Embassy in Washington received permission from U.S. authorities to visit Russian citizen Maria Butina, who has been detained in Washington since July 15, the Foreign Ministry announced on Facebook. Butina, who is being held without bail, has become Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s latest victim. “The embassy managed to obtain permission for consular officers to visit Butina on July 19. We will give her the necessary support,” the statement said.
Butina’s attorney Robert Neil Driscoll denied that she is a Russian agent. He also drew attention to the fact that several months ago, when she came to the attention of local authorities, Butina testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, providing U.S. lawmakers with requested documents.
“It seems that the FBI is doing a political put-up job instead of carrying out its duty to fight crime,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“We understand that some powers that continue to whip up anti-Russian hysteria are behind all this, as they have been making up bogus stories about Russia’s interference in America’s domestic affairs.
“For our part, we are taking all the possible measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Russian citizen,” she said.
Putin References ‘Certain Forces in America’ Trying To Destroy Helsinki Achievements
July 19, 2018 (EIRNS)—In the course of a wide-ranging address to Russian ambassadors brought to Moscow for an annual meeting, President Vladimir Putin remarked on the Helsinki summit and those “Americans” who are deriding it.
“We need a new, positive agenda aimed at collaboration and attempts to find common ground. Of course, I discussed this during my meeting with the President of the United States, Mr. Trump.
“With our views being different on many matters, we agreed that Russia-U.S. relations are deeply unsatisfactory and in many ways even worse than during the Cold War.
“Of course, it would be naive to believe that the problems that piled up over years would be resolved in a matter of several hours. No one was counting on this. However, I believe that we have embarked on a path to positive changes.
“Importantly, a full-fledged summit with an opportunity to talk directly has finally taken place. It was overall successful and led to productive agreements.
“We will have to wait and see, of course, what turn the events will take, all the more so as certain forces in America are trying to downplay and disavow the results of the Helsinki summit.
“To digress from the main subject, I would like to say a few words on a personal note, so to speak.
“We see that there are forces in the United States that are willing to sacrifice Russia-U.S. relations to promote their ambitions amid the domestic political strife in America. They are ready to sacrifice the interests of their businesses, which are losing multimillion-dollar contracts and the Russian market in general, as well as jobs in the United States, even though not many, but still there are jobs in place as part of cooperation with Russia. We are talking about tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of jobs.
“They are ready to sacrifice the interests of their allies in Europe and the Middle East, in particular, those of the State of Israel. Among other things, we discussed security at the Golan Heights during the operation in Syria. Apparently, no one is interested in it. They are ready to sacrifice even their own security.
“I would like to say that the New START Treaty will expire in 2021. Generally speaking, we could have lived without it even several years ago, but we took the correct step when we signed it. Unless we start working right now to coordinate its extension, it will cease to exist in a year and a half. We will simply not have this treaty.
“When I spoke about these forces, you know, this does not fit our political philosophy, because we have always been taught that officials working in the interests of the state, of society must think above all about and give priority to these fundamental interests. Unfortunately, there are forces in the United States that put their narrow group and party interests before national ones.
“Our famous satirical writers once wrote about such people, ‘Miserable, wretched people!’ But this is not quite so, at least not when it comes to this case. These are not miserable or wretched people. No, they are powerful and strong people who can shove—sorry for the mauvais ton—unbelievable and illogical stories in the face of millions of their citizens. Yes, they can really do this.
“I am not saying this to scold or commend anyone. Absolutely not. I am saying this so that we take this into account in our practical work in the American direction. These are the facts of modern life.
“Nevertheless, Russia is open to further contacts with the United States on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. This is what not only our people but the world as a whole need. As the world’s largest nuclear powers, we have special responsibility for strategic stability and security.”
It would be wrong, however, to read Putin’s message without recalling that like most foreigners—and many Americans—he hears much more from the fake-news media than from the actual views of Americans.