For a long time, people outside Cult Trump have suspected two disturbing notions about Donald Trump and his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We now know that both of these notions are true. The first truth is that Trump believes what he discusses with Putin is not America’s business. The second truth is that Trump believes the oath he took to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” is one big joke.
These revelations don’t come from Robert Mueller, the would-be savior who kept us believing he could do something to take down a treasonous President. They also don’t come from some House committee hearing after overcoming a subpoena challenge or bogus immunity claim. We know these truths because Donald Trump communicated them to us.
When the Mueller report was released, the mainstream media finally focused more on how Trump engages in acts of collusion and obstruction in plain sight. For example, in July 2016, when candidate Trump said “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” it was not courtesy of audio from a secretly recorded phone call with some clandestine Russian intelligence officer. That statement was proclaimed by candidate Trump himself on television.
Over the past couple of days, we have been analyzing every interruption, zinger, and technical glitch at the Democratic debates in Miami in an attempt to figure out who can dethrone Trump. In the meantime, Trump has been stirring up trouble across the globe at the G20 Osaka Summit, in plain sight. On Wednesday, a reporter asked Trump before he left for Japan whether he would warn Putin against meddling in our upcoming elections. Trump dismissively replied, “I’ll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business.”
Today, Trump met Putin for the first time since the Mueller report was released. With no sign that Trump would indeed warn Putin against election interference, reporters asked him about it. Trump replied, “Of course, I will,” only to put on a shameful display for the cameras. Trump pretended to point an admonishing finger at Putin, muttering, “Don’t meddle in the election, please,” while sharing a laugh with his Russian BFF.
In just the last few days, Trump has told us that his chats with Putin are not our concern and that he finds the conclusion of the Mueller report – “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” – both humorous and trivial. It is clear we have now reached the part of Trump’s presidency where he is no longer even pretending to be our faithful commander-in-chief. But these past few days have also shown that there are several impressive Democratic contenders who are more than up for the job. Unlike our sitting “President,” these candidates know what it means to put America, and not themselves, first.