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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 1:04 AM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 1:04 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1385749

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1538881574
Cuyahoga1358332341
Hamilton987081326
Montgomery679671161
Summit568451051
Lucas51531869
Butler48000663
Stark42232983
Lorain32046539
Warren30404338
Mahoning27463643
Clermont25990297
Lake24809422
Delaware22566147
Licking20767246
Fairfield20730223
Greene20611275
Trumbull20257516
Medina20074290
Clark18170332
Richland16680236
Portage16389231
Wood15926209
Allen14333261
Miami14018261
Muskingum12927155
Wayne12185244
Columbiana11980242
Tuscarawas11204271
Marion10908150
Pickaway10606129
Scioto10531127
Erie9864171
Ross9612177
Lawrence8934125
Hancock8603143
Ashtabula8474187
Geauga8251156
Belmont8236188
Jefferson7691175
Huron7537131
Union742651
Washington7380126
Athens709365
Sandusky6963135
Darke6875137
Knox6812122
Seneca6519137
Ashland6051115
Auglaize595388
Shelby5820104
Brown575372
Mercer565190
Defiance5564101
Crawford5563117
Madison551071
Highland549282
Fulton542583
Clinton533781
Logan518687
Preble5102111
Putnam4900107
Guernsey484364
Williams468982
Perry462254
Champaign454264
Ottawa442484
Jackson434563
Pike398345
Morrow396451
Coshocton391969
Fayette383753
Adams369275
Hardin366170
Gallia355458
Holmes3321111
Henry329869
Van Wert320771
Hocking310770
Wyandot285458
Carroll266352
Paulding246443
Meigs221742
Monroe192749
Noble174142
Morgan170029
Harrison160741
Vinton141319
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
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Decatur
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Hi: 79° Lo: 48°
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Monday is another nice and breezy day with warmer temperatures.
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