Right in plain sight
Seems like as good a place to start a blog like this as any…
Last week in Finland, Donald Trump reconfirmed to the world during a joint press conference that he is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin and, for once, it seemed like everyone was finally in agreement about what’s been so obvious the entire time.
I didn’t have a chance to watch footage until two days after it happened but by then, I’d already heard the feedback from TV reports and podcasts — reporters, pundits, and even Fox News were in near-unison about the President’s audacity and obsequiousness. I heard prominent voices starting to ask for the very first time whether Trump has been compromised by the Russian government. Hell froze over in Helsinki in a way I didn’t expect.
I’ve become too used to running around with my hair on fire wondering why no one else can see the roof’s aflame.
I’ve been in a slow-boiled stew of horror and disbelief at what’s happened since Trump took over the Republican party and presidency. What’s made things worse, though, was that so many others couldn’t see the true extent of it. I honestly had started to believe that nothing at all would convince people what was happening right before our own eyes, that there would always be some other explanation or set of “alternative facts“ to explain away the President’s actions. Trump famously said he could shoot stand in the middle of 5th Avenue, shoot someone, and he wouldn’t lose any voters. I had started to think it was true. But this seemed different. People were reacting. Discourse had changed. The nation seemed to be legitimately and uniformly asking whether we are on the precipice of a serious constitutional crisis.
Trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin
As soon as I could, I watched the full press conference for myself. Honestly, nothing Trump did or didn’t was surprising to anyone paying attention. He was never going to side with the intelligence directors he appointed himself, or confront Putin over the indictments strategically dropped by his own Department of Justice days before the summit.
Nothing matters anymore
I’m confused, though. Everyone’s focusing on what Trump didn’t say instead of what Putin did say. Watch the footage starting at 32:30:
U.S. reporter: “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?“
Putin: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did.”
This is where we’ve arrived. President Putin just admitted in broad day and on an international stage that he supported Trump’s presidential campaign — you can argue what exactly he meant but the transcript seems to speak for itself. Moreover, Putin is the kind of guy who chooses his words carefully; he knew this subject would come up and he didn’t hesitate for a second to answer.
How many times do we need to see everything play out in front of our eyes and ears before we start to believe them? The whole thing has a very “Lester Holt” feeling to it. Do you recall what seems like millenia ago, when Trump confirmed in an interview he essentially obstructed justice by firing then FBI Director James Comey for reasons related to the Russia investigation the FBI was leading into Trumps’ campaign. Saturday Night Live portrayed it best, I believe: