You knew it was coming! Not even an hour after President Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, some on the left were already criticizing President Trump for the way he handled the alleged Russian “meddling” investigation. During the press conference, President Trump stated:
“I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think that we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office,” Mr. Trump said during a joint press conference with Putin.
Offered multiple times to denounce Russia’s actions, Mr. Trump instead placed blame on the FBI and said that he had “confidence” in both parties — the intelligence community and Russia.
“All I can do is ask the question – my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be but I really want to see the server but, I have confidence in both parties,” Mr. Trump said.
He went so far as to say that Putin’s denial of having been involved in the election was “extremely strong and powerful.” Putin instead reiterated past claims that the “Russian state” has never and is not going to ever interfere in U.S. internal affairs, including elections, and offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller an opportunity to request to interrogate and question 12 Russian nationals indicted in his probe on Russian soil.
Shortly after the press conference, former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted the following:
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
With all due respect to Mr. Brennan, his comments are way off-base.
While President Trump indicated that he trusted both the FBI and President Putin, he had every reason to cast some of the blame on the FBI. After all, isn’t this the same FBI and/or Justice Department that has consistently refused to turn over documents subpoenaed by Congress many months ago? Isn’t this the same FBI and/or Justice Department that refuses to put an end to the Mueller investigation despite the absence of any evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russia? Isn’t this the same FBI and/or Justice Department that turned a blind eye when then Attorney General Loretta Lynch inexcusably met with former President Clinton on the tarmac on June 27, 2016 while his wife was the target of an investigation? Finally, isn’t this the same organization that was led by Director James Comey, and who never really investigated the email scandal prior to deciding not to press charges? https://townhall.com/columnists/jeffcrouere/2017/12/02/lying-to-fbi-is-illegal-how-about-the-fbi-lying-to-us-n2417029
This is not an indictment of the good men and women who work for the FBI and/or Justice Department. Many of them are honest, hard-working people. However, these questions raise serious red flags and cast significant doubt about the honesty and integrity of these organizations, how they conduct their investigation(s), and of some of the people “running the show,” such as Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, and Mr. Strzok. Sadly, the lack of transparency and the apparent lack of candor have significantly hurt the image of the FBI and/or Justice Department.
There is nothing treasonous about President Trump’s comments, nor do his comments constitute high crimes and misdemeanors, which is quite loosely defined. Anne Coulter wrote a good article about high crimes and misdemeanors and the case against Bill Clinton, which you can read here.
President Trump was telling the truth. He blamed both countries and had every reason to question the integrity of the FBI and/or Justice Department. He did not deny Russia involvement at any point, yet only reiterated what President Putin told him. That is not treasonous by any means.