There probably was no proper way for Donald Trump to recover after he made the mistake of publicly siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin while slamming the United States intel community. Trump faced widespread blowback, from both sides of the aisle, after essentially confirming every accusation that had ever been leveled at him with regard to Russia. But if there was a way for Trump to recover from it, what he did tonight was decidedly not it.
On Saturday evening, Trump decided to double down on his desire to buddy up to Putin. He tweeted “Met with President Putin of Russia who was at APEC meetings. Good discussions on Syria. Hope for his help to solve, along with China the dangerous North Korea crisis. Progress being made.” Regardless of the context, Trump didn’t help himself by asking Putin for “help” just hours after having aligned himself with Putin against the United States. But it was his next tweet that may have permanently sealed his demise.
Just two minutes later, Trump tweeted this: “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!” That’s right, he’s calling millions Americans “haters and fools” because they criticized him for pledging his personal allegiance to Putin (he also used “there” instead of “they’re” – seemingly helping to prove that he did indeed write this tweet). Trump has been slammed today by John McCain, Tom Brokaw, you name it – and now he’s attacking them all in what can only be described as berserk fashion.
In order to have any chance of surviving this morning’s comments, Donald Trump would have had to find a way to walk them back by claiming that he meant something different than what he said, or by claiming that he never said it all, or something to change the narrative. Instead, by doubling down with this “haters and fools” tweet Trump just sunk himself. He’s not coming back from this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report