Donald Trump thinks you're stupid

President Donald Trump appears to think we are all idiots.He just tried to fix what could be the biggest crisi...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 12:04 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 12:04 AM

President Donald Trump appears to think we are all idiots.

He just tried to fix what could be the biggest crisis of his presidency -- and he failed disastrously.

Trump returned from his world tour to a country where the word "treason" was trending on Twitter, and where members of his own party were declaring on TV that he had betrayed the United States.

Hours earlier he'd left America and the rest of the world slack-jawed in astonishment at his fawning press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where at every turn, Trump seemed to take Putin's side and attack his own country, explaining that in their private meeting Putin had been "extremely strong and powerful" in denying Russia interfered in the 2016 election -- despite the conclusion of the US intelligence agencies that it had.

He said: "I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be."

When even his mouthpiece Fox News criticized Trump, it was time for action.

So the President convened a gaslighting session Tuesday with the media at the White House. Here he told his audience that they had not seen what they saw, had not correctly heard what he meant for them to hear, and that it was all one big misunderstanding. The Helsinki blowback was a silly mixup, Trump explained, reading from typewritten notes.

"In a key sentence in my remarks," Trump explained, "I said the world 'would' instead of 'wouldn't'. The sentence should have been "I don't see why... it wouldn't be Russia," he assured us. "Sort of a double negative."

Perhaps this was the first tactical operation by Trump's new communications director, Bill Shine. Claim it was a slip of the tongue, a grammatical misfire. Of course, Trump didn't go so far as to apologize. Instead, he said he "realized there is some need for clarification." So, when the Wall Street Journal called the Helsinki press conference "a personal and national embarrassment," when the former CIA director called it "treasonous," when a top Fox anchor called it "disgusting," he wanted us to know they had all been thrown off by one word.

Are we supposed to believe this nonsense? After he blamed the "stupidity" of the United States for causing poor relations with Russia, ignoring the fact that Russia invaded its neighbor, shot down a civilian airplane (four years ago today), helped a Syrian dictator who used chemical weapons and, according to a mountain of evidence, attacked American democracy.

But never mind all that. Trump thought his clever would/wouldn't explanation took care of his massive Helsinki problem. "So," he concluded to reporters, "you can put that in and I think that clarifies things pretty good by itself."

Please. Verbal dexterity is not this President's strong suit. But deceiving, misleading, gaslighting, are. This time the ploy collapsed, much like America's image since he took office.

What's more, even though it appeared that someone had typed up the script for him, Trump just had to ad-lib. So, even as he tried to reverse his disparagement of US intelligence ("I accept our intelligence community's conclusions that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place"), he couldn't stop there. "Could be other people also. There's a lot of people out there."

One message for the base, one message for the rest.

Anyone who listened to his Helsinki press conference -- in contrast to his closed-door meeting with Putin, where only translators heard what was said -- knows this clean-up effort is laughable.

Far from being an assertion of American dominance -- double-negative mistake or no double-negative mistake -- it showed us a Trump standing sheepishly, admiringly by a man his own director of national intelligence said is still attacking America's digital infrastructure. The President looked like a different person from the one we've seen. Gone was the swagger, the bone-crushing handshake, the willingness to offend. Trump appeared submissive, cowed.

When Putin described his preposterous offer of having Russia jointly investigate the Mueller probe indictments, Trump called it "an incredible offer, OK?"

Former US counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke said Trump is "acting like a controlled asset." And the respected former US ambassador to Russia, William Burns, called the press conference "the single most embarrassing performance by an American president on the world stage that I've ever seen."

Most of us are old enough to remember when the GOP was tough on Russia, strong on NATO. It was 2016.

And after the sordid Helsinki spectacle and the attacks against NATO allies, Republican leaders have decided now to criticize the President -- a bit. The question now is what they are going to do about him.

His European tour was destructive and dangerous. Putin will now feel much less restrained in his foreign adventurism. He knows Trump would be reluctant to stop him. Trump is already weakening the Western alliance, calling the European Union America's foe and Russia a "competitor," explaining that is "a compliment."

The problem here is not a grammatical faux pas. The problem is the President. And it is a national emergency.

Republicans can pretend they've been fooled by Trump's idiotic explanation and move on. Or they can take action. It's time to call in the translator who witnessed the Putin-Trump meeting to find out what exactly happened. It's time to protect the Mueller investigation with legislation. It's time to recognize that the man in Oval Office is a genuine threat to the country and the world.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
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