Are we SURE Putin is a Trump pal? Unlike Donald Trump, I firmly believe all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that state in the affirmative that Putin interfered in the U.S. election with the goal of helping Trump win. Unlike Donald Trump, I also believe the same agencies that agree that Putin is not, and will not be, a U.S. ally. as he continues to work against U.S. interests in the world There are times when I am not even sure he is a #Trump ally. If Putin is the master tactician he is reported to be, you have to wonder about his offer to make available the recordings made in the Oval Office during the visit with Lavrov and Kislyak. The timing is especially curious since he has admitted to declassifying sensitive information. The effect of this offer is even more interesting, to me. It’s a little sloppy, don’t you think? According to ABCNews
Russia’s state-run TASS agency confirmed that Putin offered to release a transcript of the talks between Trump and the Russian envoy during their May 10 meeting at the White House if members of Congress ask.
The tapes would be unedited, I’m sure. What is Russian for “wink”? There are bigger issues than whether or not the tapes are unedited. The offer, on the surface, appears to be an attempt to help Trump, but does it really do that? There are three critical concerns that should be raised by this offer:
1 – The offer is a reminder that Putin pulled Trump’s strings and as a result the White House complied with Putin’s request and disallowed the U.S. press to be present. That left state-run Russian media to record. Was TASS granted full permission to record? Who granted that permission? Who else knew this was happening? Were there dissenting voices? What forms of journalism were approved? Print? Audio? Video? To date it has appeared that print photography was the only approved media access. Surprise?
2 – Trump was shamefully unaware of the gravity of meeting in front of the Russian press without the protection of the American press. Were there other protocols that may have been ignored. Is it routine to check equipment before and after visits? If so, was this done? Who physically carried TASS media equipment? DId TASS carry and record as they moved through the White House? Would they have been able to record if the US media was present? Trump is far less friendly with American media than he is with Russian media. If the U.S. media was present, I would venture a guess to say that no one would have been granted permission to record the sessions – again, assuming TASS was granted permission and didn’t simply record without the administration’s knowledge.
Imagine how different the outcome would have been if U.S. media would have been present. Would an American journalist have detected the various forms of information gathering taking place in the Oval Office?
3 – This recording means that instead of the strategic meeting on terrorism the White House and surrogates claimed it to be, Trump spoke openly of material so sensitive that members of Congress and other government employees, including intelligence offers, did not have access to it. Why would a strategic meeting about terrorism take place under the watchful eyes and listening ears of TASS? Even if you buy Trump’s argument that he declassified the information to support his (not our) allies, why would it take place in such an open forum? He would never hold a strategic meeting in front of the American meeting, for good reason. Putin’s offer has made it clear that this was simple carelessness on #Trump’s part. Nothing less and, hopefully, nothing more.
With friends like Putin… as the saying goes. Woe is Trump when Putin decides he is expendable. What other recordings are waiting to be released?