This past week, President Donald Trump got on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and for over an hour, palled around instead of offering even a single apparent word of condemnation for the Kremlin’s election meddling efforts most recently outlined in the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is among those up in arms over the president’s failure, sharing a public statement on Twitter:
‘President Donald Trump spent an hour on the phone with Putin. Instead of pressing Putin on the Mueller Report’s extensive evidence that Russia hacked our elections, They gossiped about Fox News conspiracy theories? Trump’s priorities are appalling and undermine democracy.’
President @realDonaldTrump spent an hour on the phone with Putin.
Instead of pressing Putin on the #MuellerReport‘s extensive evidence that Russia hacked our elections,
They gossiped about Fox News conspiracy theories?
Trump’s priorities are appalling and undermine democracy. pic.twitter.com/GkvorjEDMU
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 3, 2019
All that Trump and Putin apparently discussed relating to the subject of the Russia scandal was the now long-running claim that there was no collusion between their two camps in the Russian government’s election meddling. It’s true that Mueller concluded there was no criminally prosecutable conspiracy between the Trump team and the Kremlin, but the claim is false that such means there are none of the corrupt foreign ties many have long pointed to under the heading of collusion accusations. Mueller’s report explicitly outlines a number of clear ties between the two groups, adding that the Trump team was clearly conscientious of the election meddling to the point of expecting to benefit from it.
In other words — the supposed no collusion isn’t for lack of trying, and it surely isn’t for a lack of underlying corruption to collude with in the first place either. Yet, Trump found no reason to bring any of this up with Putin in their first communications following the release of the Mueller report, even as officials sound an alarm about further election interference heading into 2020.
Trump is said to have focused on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, where opposition factions are seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who won a sham election and refuses to cede power. On that front too, remarkably enough, Trump skimmed right over tangible Russian wrongdoing. His own team has accused the Kremlin of intervening on behalf of Maduro, as it’s been prone to do in other similar situations involving threatened dictators like Syria. Trump, however, parroted the Putin line to reporters on Friday that the Russian leader is “not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela, other than he’d like to see something positive happen.”
Does Trump even have any of his own foreign policy ideas or are they all Putin’s?
Check out Twitter’s response below…
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