July 18, 2018

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

.” (Reuters)

He stated, “I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’... The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’” (Reuters)

See past issues

The left is glad that public pressure has led Trump to rethink his statements, but remains skeptical of both the president’s intentions and the Republican party’s resolve to back up their criticisms with concrete actions.

“Trump very clearly did not make a would/wouldn’t gaffe here — the sentence makes no sense in context… And if Trump really did misspeak, the time to correct it would have been during Monday night’s Sean Hannity interview or the many intervening tweets. [Moreover] despite the best efforts of Trump allies to make this a narrow question of Trump’s sensitivity about the election issue, his pro-Russia stance during the press conference was considerably more wide-ranging.”


Even Fox News hosts were aghast after Trump’s summit with Putin… anchors on Fox and its sister network, Fox Business, were moved to sharply criticize Trump’s asides blaming his own country for the tension in the United States' relationship with Russia and his remarks casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's assessments of Russian election interference.”

Washington Post

While the left is encouraged by GOP lawmakers speaking out, “Democrats on Tuesday said such statements are not enough, and called on the Republican-led Congress to take real action.”


“Republicans who control Congress could protect special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation that is trying to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016. They could demand that the White House seek the extradition of the 12 Russian intelligence agents who were indicted last week by Mueller. They could increase funding for grants to states to better protect their election systems. They could even tighten sanctions on Russia for its suspected poisonings in Britain.”

Sacramento Bee

Significantly more money is needed, along with incentives for state and local election agencies to identify weak spots, erect firewalls and pursue other precautions. From what we already know about Russia’s invading voter databases, it is eager to make mischief.”

New York Times

“When seven intelligence groups… agree that Russia interfered in the election, government leaders have a very serious problem on their hands. This is not a talking point to be debated nor is it partisan rhetoric to be refuted. It is a political crisis that needs to be addressed immediately.”


The right is skeptical of Trump’s walk-back, but also argues that the media has blown the entire incident out of proportion.

The right is skeptical of Trump’s walk-back, but also argues that the media has blown the entire incident out of proportion.

“This is just a dressed-up version of what Trump said Monday. He’s still saying he’s not sure [he] trusts the election interference assessment shared by U.S. intelligence agencies and the Senate. He can’t say he believes the intelligence community and claim to have faith in it, and then state in the same breath that its conclusion that Moscow acted against the U.S. in 2016 could be bogus.”

Washington Examiner

“It’s good that Trump is trying to fix the damage, and it’s good that people in the White House

presumably) made him do it... Still, I expect he’ll fall back into a ‘you’re damn right I ordered the code red’ admission that contradicts this admission sooner rather than later. Though I hope he doesn’t.”

National Review

“Trump doesn't want to listen to the policy prescriptions of media and government elites

and for good reason), but he should ultimately accept that the American president must do better when standing [beside] our foes, and recalibrate accordingly.”

Washington Examiner

Some on the right remind us that while “President Trump did not have his best performance Monday projecting his vision from a position of strength and conveying the message that Putin must make strategic choices or face dire consequences… In the end, results – or the lack thereof – will speak louder than Monday’s spectacle. We’ll have a much better idea of the significance of the summit six months or a year from now than we do today.”

Fox News

Regarding the mainstream media’s coverage of Trump’s statements:

“Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin.

The Weekly Standard

“If well-heeled pundits keep telling everyone The Fourth Reich is imminent before retiring to their townhouses in Capitol Hill every night, some people might actually start believing them… Few things ‘destabilize democracy’ more than imbuing a foreign strongman from a second-rate power with the imaginary capability of deciding our elections.”

The Federalist

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

A small Japanese city is facing a ninja shortage — even with salaries as high as $85,000.

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