REVEALED: Trump Plans To Give Putin A Pass For Election Hack, Aides Worry About What He’ll Say
According to a report published by The New York Times, top aides to Trump are worried the president is “unwittingly” allying himself with Putin, and that the two leaders will bond over their distrust of the media.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Hamburg, Germany at the annual G-20 summit on Friday, and the question everyone’s asking is, “What will he and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk about?”
It will be the first meeting between the two world leaders since Trump became President, and the potential topics of conversation are endless. Putin has already leaked his wish list for their meeting. Syria, ISIS, sanctions, NATO expansion, and Ukraine are all issues with which he intends to confront and corner President Trump.
The White House has been coy about its expectations for the meeting, and they won’t confirm one way or the other whether Russia’s hacking operation that infiltrated and undermined the 2016 presidential election will be on the table. Administration officials as late as yesterday told CNN that the President has no plans to discuss the issue.
Admin officials telling CNN that – at least as they see it – POTUS is unlikely to raise Russian election interference https://t.co/ehRsbrcfLk
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) July 3, 2017
Two aides close to President Trump told the Times that they expect the two leaders to bond over their shared problems with “fake news.” Experts say that would be disastrous for Trump’s administration.
“If it were somebody else other than Trump, you could imagine a tough conversation about Ukraine and election meddling, but that’s probably too optimistic,” former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told the newspaper.
One former ambassador to Ukraine told the Times that a “cloud” of Russian collusion accusations hangs over the White House ahead of the meeting.
“There’s a fair amount of nervousness in the White House and at the State Department about this meeting and how they manage it because they see a lot of potential risks,” Steven Pifer said.
“There is this gray cloud for the president of the investigations about collusion, so any kind of a deal is going to get the micro-scrutiny of, ‘Is this a giveaway to the Russians?’ ”
“Putin will be very prepared for this meeting. He’s someone who is a master at manipulation,” Derek Chollet told the Times.
But the Times reports that one person in the White House isn’t worried about Putin at all: Donald Trump. “He is more concerned about the optics of being scolded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel over his decision to exit the Paris Climate Accord,” a White House official said.
According to all U.S. Intelligence agencies, Vladimir Putin ordered Russian intelligence to direct and execute a cyber attack and misinformation campaign in 2016 in an effort to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.
Last month, Political Dig reported the cyber attack included hacking into voter registration offices in at least 39 states – 4 of them successful. While the White House and their allies have attempted to conflate, discredit, and outright obstruct the many investigations trying to get to the bottom the Russian operation, the debate over what they did and how they did it is over.
“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever,” fired FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee during his June 8th testimony. “The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government.”
But now, despite all of this certainty on behalf of his own government and his own intelligence services, President Trump has no plans to bring it up with Vladimir Putin during their face to face meeting in Hamburg. We can only speculate why.
Whatever his reasons, it’s clear he intends to overlook the Russian cyber attack at all costs, even at the expense of the national security of the United States of America.