Burnett: Trump is trying to save face

CNN's Erin Burnett asks why President Donald Trump decided to postpone his next meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Posted: Jul 26, 2018 2:03 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2018 2:14 PM

On Tuesday, two seemingly unrelated things happened in the world of global politics.

First, political oddsmaker Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics forecasted for the first time that the chances of the House flipping to Democratic control were greater than 50-50.

Second, the Kremlin publicly indicated that it was lukewarm on the idea of a second meeting so soon after the Helsinki summit, stating that it hadn't really begun thinking about another meeting for this fall.

And on Wednesday, the White House announced it was pushing off plans for a second Trump-Putin Summit in Washington, DC, scheduled for this fall - just a few weeks out from the 2018 Midterms.

Coincidence?

Did Putin somehow signal to Trump that it probably wasn't in their mutual self-interest to be seen in public together so soon after Helsinki -- particularly after the trashing Trump received after returning to Washington?

Ever since the White House announced they were inviting Putin to come to the White House for another round of talks this fall, Democratic political operatives' hands may have been doing so much high-fiving that they were turning red and chafed. As Ron Klain, the former chief of staff to both Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, told Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word," the idea of a such a meeting would be a nightmare for Republican strategists and tantamount to political insanity.

"Everything Russia is toxic," Dave Jacobson, a longtime Democratic political strategist who is advising a number of Democratic congressional and statewide candidates in California and New Mexico this year, told us via a Twitter direct message. "Rewarding Putin...by rolling out the red carpet at the White House, would have undoubtedly spelled big trouble for the GOP at the ballot box this fall."

Traditional conservatives, such as Ted Cruz's national security guru Harry J. Kazianis, had publicly fretted at the election day casualties that a second presidential summit might incur. The Hill declared that the optics of putting Putin in the Oval Office would be political suicide. Putin "will not be welcome" in the Capitol, said Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just a day before the White House announced it was scuttling the idea for this fall.

Had Putin ended up coming to Washington this fall, his visit might very well have directly impacted the balance of power in the House where there are now over 30 Republican-held House seats deemed "toss-ups" --by Sabato and other mainstream political oddsmakers - far more than the 23 seats the Democrats need to flip to take back control

The evisceration that Trump received back home in the US -- including from his own party -- following his widely criticized performance in Helsinki had become a political liability. For the first time, the mainstream media was openly speculating on whether there was a Kompromat held by Putin over Trump and if so, what kind -- little else could seemingly explain the President's obsequiousness beside his Russian counterpart.

The bottom line is that Putin needs Trump to stay strong -- at least strong enough to stay in power while Putin furthers his agenda of generating division and distrust between the US and her allies. A Democratic-led House would put a severe check on Trump's ability to blow up security pacts and undercut big trade deals. Putin needs Trump. If Putin overreaches, enabling a Democratic House to take power in 2018 -- or worse -- the election of a Democratic President in 2020, then his plans to shake up the global order will be dealt a severe blow.

Putin's fall trip to the US would have likely touched off a bipartisan firestorm with Trump in the middle of it and his GOP comrades running in tightly contested races around the country taking the heat. If Trump didn't see the political backlash coming -- despite what his aides were likely telling him - the Kremlin's lackluster enthusiasm got the message through.

There will be no summit this fall.

And that swooshing sound you hear in the distance is from GOP candidates across the US letting out a collective sigh of relief.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Angola
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday before cooler air returns to the Midwest.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events