Opinion: Trump sides with Putin, for reasons unknown and unexplained

trump-at-office-desk-mary-altafferap-640x480

Donald Trump at his computer-free office in Trump Tower. (AP)

My fellow Americans, we have committed ourselves to four years — 1,461 days, including an extra day for leap year — with Donald J. Trump in control of our national destiny, and the countdown to zero hasn’t even started yet.

That would be this Donald J. Trump, @realDonaldTrump:

Yes, it is certainly strange. Very strange. Extraordinary, someone-must-have-put-LSD-in-your-morning-coffee levels of strange.

It is strange to see Trump claiming that the intelligence briefing that he has long avoided has been delayed, while intelligence officials claim that it is right on schedule.

It is strange to see a president-elect of the United States publicly mocking the competence and honesty of U.S. intelligence agencies. It is strange to see him refusing to attend or read intelligence briefings, and strange to see him treating longtime professionals with such open contempt. It is also strange to see conservative politicians and conservative media outlets that have long reviled Russia and long worshiped the intelligence agencies now suddenly reverse themselves on both counts so they can show total allegiance to Fearless Leader.

Whatever they have to believe, they are willing to believe.¹

I’m particularly struck by the sarcastic scare quotes that Trump puts around the words “intelligence” and “Russian hacking” in the tweet above, an antic that makes him look less like a 70-year-old statesman and more like a smart-aleck 10-year-old. He needs to be sent to his room without his Nintendo until he improves his attitude; instead, 16 days from now, he’ll be given access to the nuclear codes.

Very strange.

And what have U.S. intelligence agencies done to deserve such ridicule from the man who will lead and rely upon them?

Well, they have dared to tell our president-elect and the rest of us an inconvenient truth. They have dared to conclude with a “high degree of confidence'” that Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of computers in both the Democratic and Republican parties, and then ordered the release of stolen data from the Democrats as a way to interfere with the U.S. election on Trump’s behalf.

Now “high confidence” doesn’t mean that they’re absolutely sure that they’re right, but it’s pretty close. And yes, intelligence agencies have been wrong in the past. But in this case, every U.S. intelligence agency, from the CIA to the FBI, is unanimous in that conclusion. Every expert that I’ve seen quoted from the private cyber-security industry has also come to that same conclusion. And so far, the only evidence that Trump offers to contradict those expert conclusions is the work of his own “very good brain.”

As he told us last week, “I know a lot about hacking … I know things that other people don’t know.” When asked what these things might be that only he knows, he became evasive.

“You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday,” he said.

Wednesday has now come; an explanation has not. Perhaps more “time” is needed to build a “case”?

Very strange.

The truth is. Trump doesn’t use email, he doesn’t use computers, he has no real concept of how they work and he marvels at the computer skills of his 10-year-old son. He doesn’t know his ASCII from a hole in the ground, and if you put a laptop in front of him and ask him to turn it on, he wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to place his stubby forefinger.

But Trump does know that he wants to be — oddly needs to be — friends with Putin. Over the years, and dating back long before his run for president, he has made a series of admiring, even sycophantic statements about the Russian dictator. Maybe it’s something personal with him; maybe it’s something business-related. Either way, he wants to curry favor with Putin by ending sanctions enacted against Russia for its military adventures into Crimea and Ukraine, and now for meddling in our elections. He wants Putin’s admiration and validation. He wants these things, he wants them badly, and U.S. intelligence agencies are telling him that maybe, for the good of the country, he shouldn’t have these things.

For our incoming child-president, that’s not a good enough reason.


¹George Orwell had a term for this phenomenon, as of course he would. He called it “blackwhite,” and defines it clearly in “1984”:

“(Blackwhite) means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.’

Reader Comments 0

1837 comments
Linda Fraser
Linda Fraser

Maybe there is payback to Mr Putin with financial loans Mr Trump gained in the past?

Randy05
Randy05

Bookman Trump bashing again? I'm shocked! Do you have ANY positive, helpful thoughts in your head, Jay. This one track mind thing is getting a bit tired....

Lori Burroughs
Lori Burroughs

Better Russia than Iran. I didn't hear you complain about Obama siding with Iran. Maybe I'll donate money to WikiLeaks to get your e-mails published. Wonder what we might learn?

Dunk13
Dunk13

Jay. We all will have a new President on January 20, 2017! Your opinion editorials and the AJC did all you could to get him defeated, For the good of our country I feel it is time to support him!

James Davis
James Davis

The Manchurian Candidates actions appear inscrutable....

Pat White
Pat White

All false stories.. prove it.....

Kent Spencer
Kent Spencer

Um, so I have the privilege of knowing so people that work and have worked for our intelligence communities. They are true patriots beyond the overused term. The risk their lives, are underpaid, there are no parades or special charities for them. Those of you that were dense or morally disturbed enough to elect an orange faced complusive self absorbed liar to become POTUS, fail to grasp the danger we face by undermining our national press and our intelligence service community are as emotionally retarted and intellectually challenged as Trump himself. Keep thinking only Trump is telling the truth. You won't laugh when gas is $4.00 and we are in another war and you have no healthcare.

Carol Niewinski
Carol Niewinski

Should be obvious. Putin is not the problem. Obama is the war monger and the problem.

Bill Vice
Bill Vice

I don't think he's siding with Putin, he's just saying he doesn't trust our security agencies. And why should he. They declared Hillary was innocent, only negligent. She took her received classified information on an insecure device. Every expert says it was wide open to hacking. None of these agencies was at all alarmed nor investigated. They lied about benghazi and was not interested in investigating that. The Obama administration lost guns in fast and furious that lead to the death of a border guard with one of the guns in the hands of a drug cartel. Believe them? I don't believe it why should Trump. Let me hear the FBI, the CIA and homeland security, much less Shepard Smith get up in arms about all the gettmo terrorists Obama is releasing back into fight and I might start to believe.

Judy Dillon
Judy Dillon

Some idiots have no idea what diplomacy is. Did you know that Mr. Putin is a Christian? No? Well look it up and quit trying to make out Trump is not a good man. While looking in the Bible, you'll see that Russia and America will be allies again. Yes we use to get along.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@JamVet I like the knee pads. I guess Jay doesn't need them anymore now that Obama is moving on..

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

" If Paul voted for the 1st white nationalist POTUS he is a racist bigot."


Assuming you mean Trump, you say only racist bigots voted for him?

And who is a bigot, again?  @Robert1959

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@redneckbluedog @_GodlessHeathen_ 

"Why do you want to give America away to robber barons and oligarchs..??  They already hold 90% of the wealth...How much is enough for you..??"

What is your evidence that I do?

"All so you can have the biggest Hemi in the trailer park..??"

That would be cool.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

In the interest of clarity, it would be useful to compile a list of activities/statements deemed 'racist' by the JayBlog majority. I'll start:

Disagree with Obama

Vote for Tump

Criticize BLM

Hail from the South

...

Paul42
Paul42

@InTheMiddle2 @

Don't you see?  That supports what Eye wonder said.  Not all Trump voters are racist.  That's self evident. 

redneckbluedog
redneckbluedog

@_GodlessHeathen_ It's not so much the blatant bigotry...it is the bourgeoisie ignorance...

Why do you want to give America away to robber barons and oligarchs..??  They already hold 90% of the wealth...How much is enough for you..??

All so you can have the biggest Hemi in the trailer park..??

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@_GodlessHeathen_

Nope, not all Trump voters are racists, though it is probably fair to say that all US-based white racists are Trump voters.

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

So Jay and the AJC added "Opinion"  that is cool.  Anyways show of hands to anyone who has had a change of opinion about anything today.  Anyone from the right who might have a better thought of O or from the left a better thought about Tr? 

redneckbluedog
redneckbluedog

@Cupofjoe I have a much higher opinion of myself after reading most of this ignorant right-wing drivel...

Paul42
Paul42

@Cupofjoe

Not today, but I have had many changes of opinion as a result of reading Jay's columns and listening to the points-counterpoints made in the threads.

Hasn't been easy, didn't occur overnight, but it did occur.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

I seem to remember Paul having a decidedly more conservative leaning years ago.. Could be wrong...

Paul42
Paul42

@LordHelpUs

You aren't.  Of course, some of that impression came from challenging liberals because I thought a statement didn't stand up to indepth scrutiny.  It's the old 'you question me, you MUST be on the 'other' side' syndrome.

But I found the liberals were much more able to go with such indepth discussions and provide relevant support and background.  And believe me, there were many, many, many such discussions.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Donald Trump is the most racist person to lead the United States since at least Woodrow Wilson.

That's covering some serious ground.

Randy05
Randy05

Outside of Obama, you mean, right?

JamVet
JamVet

The petulant Rebboy, I can understand, but when did Inthemiddleoftheswamp2 become such a yuuuuuge drumpf arse kisser???

JamVet
JamVet

@TBS

His name is laughably fraudulent, what do you expect?

TBS
TBS

He has been in the tank for sometime now. Even when he tried to hide that fact he wasn't even fooling himself. No one else was fooled but he did try

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@TBS I never made it a secret that I like Trump more than Hills.

TBS
TBS

If hating is calling out your weak attempts to pretend you weren't a Trump supporter until he won then so be it

But you weren't the only one.

I give much more credit to those who were in the tank before the election and weren't trying to hedge their bets ...

If he loses he wasn't my man.. but if wins I will say I luvs me some Trump

TBS
TBS

Ok buddy

Your two right foot clod hop is entertaining for a minute or two then you start trying too hard as I mentioned above

Have a great day