Even while overseas at a G20 summit of world leaders, President Donald Trump’s priorities rest with attacking his opponents back at home. During a press conference this weekend after days of one-on-one meetings with world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he told reporters that he thought Jimmy Carter was a “terrible president” after the former Democratic commander-in-chief suggested that a full investigation of Russian meddling would show Trump as an illegitimate president. Trump also complained that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) had in his estimation been given too much credit for her powerful confrontation of frontrunner Joe Biden at the Democratic presidential primary debates this past week. Perhaps he’s afraid of taking her on in the general election.
The meddling Russians carried out on behalf of the Trump campaign is well-documented at this point, so Carter — who with his Carter Center has often engaged on behalf of democracy across the world in questionable election environments — is simply taking the facts to their already looming conclusion. Trump, though, unsurprisingly sees no credibility at all behind what Carter said, sharing in response:
‘Russia, Russia, Russia. He’s a Democrat and that’s a typical talking point.’
The key element that Trump leaves out of his assessment of the situation is the mountain of evidence coloring in exactly how Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections. Kremlin operatives hacked key Democratic Party email accounts, spread the information around, and concurrently engaged in a high-profile misinformation campaign targeting 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Further driving in the relevance of this supposed “talking point” — Trump himself has previously embraced the Russian help, going so far that he asked the Russians “if they were listening” at one point ahead of the 2016 election to hack into Clinton’s private server. That day, they began their attempts to do just that.
In character, Trump completely fumbled the opportunity to confront Russian leadership over this issue while overseas for the G20 summit. While sitting next to Putin and taking questions from reporters including one asking whether he would pressure the Russian leader against further meddling, Trump turned to Putin and mockingly said right then and there:
‘Don’t meddle in the election.’
By all appearances, that was the end of it. During his press conference following his days of meetings, he said he discussed the issue “a little bit” with Putin in private, but he declined to offer further details.
As for Harris, she has drawn wide attention for confronting Biden over his past opposition to school busing as a way to racially integrate public schools. She slammed him over even now completely missing the opportunity to see where the federal government could step in and use a tool like busing to further race relations.
Trump doesn’t seem to think it’s such a big deal — or at least wants us to think he’s all chill about the situation, offering:
‘She was given too much credit for what she did. It wasn’t that outstanding. He was hit harder than he should have been hit.’
In an isolated poll following the debate, Biden’s support plunged by ten percent while Harris’s went up by nine, from eight to 17 percent.
Featured Image via screenshot