“Trump’s enthusiasm for Putin goes back a long way. He may be the only person (including his own children) that the president has refused to ever criticize in public.” ~ Mclean’s Magazine
American allies are getting sick and tired of Trump and his antics and his latest international blunder – taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own American intelligence services – caught the attention of former Canadian diplomat, Scott Gilmore, who has written extensively for Maclean’s Magazine about the Trump regime.
Gilmore didn’t mince words when he took on Trump’s disastrous Helsinki press conference, writing that Trump’s behavior “was arguably one of the most stunning and disgraceful moments in the history of the American presidency. Clinton had sex with an intern. Nixon covered up Watergate. Kennedy invaded Cuba. But none of them stood in front of the world and publicly sided with America’s greatest rival over his staff, his intelligence agencies, his government and his country.”
“There are no analogous moments,” he concluded: “When Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain infamously announced his policy of appeasement, he did not defend Germany’s actions nor simultaneously attack his own government. There has been no moment in history where the president has sided with an aggressive rival power over the interests of his own nation.”
America is in uncharted waters. Republican lawmakers are unable to either explain or defend what happened in Helsinki. A former CIA director is calling it treason. News anchors are abandoning any attempt at dispassionate analysis and calling it “shocking” and “disgraceful.” Calls for impeachment are everywhere. But the United States has never had to face the possibility that, for reasons unknown, its president has been compromised and is no longer defending America.
Gilmore published a follow-up article stating that Vladimir Putin is rapidly becoming Trump’s final “last best friend.”
“Every day Donald Trump has fewer defenders, enablers and advisors. The scandals, the incompetence, the high staff turnover and the growing stench of the Mueller investigation, have thinned the crowd that normally surrounds a president. But one confidant remains steadfast–Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Gilmore began, warning that: “as Trump becomes more isolated, this friend is only going to become more influential.”
“Trump’s list of friends is getting shorter,” Gilmore continued.
For a while, Trump had many eager friends—even more than you might expect. Republicans who called him a “cancer” during the primaries, thanked him for his leadership after the inauguration. Generals jockeyed for postings in the White House. Presidents and prime ministers descended on the White House armed with charm and invitations.
But, one by one, these friends have become less visible and less voluble. Charlottesville forced a few to concede in public that the president had gone too far when he equated Nazis to protesters. After several train wreck summits and twitter attacks, western leaders are now much less eager to be seen with the man. As French President Emmanuelle Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau learned, no amount of charm and bonhomie will protect you from tantrums and tariffs.
Continuing, Gilmore wrote of Trump’s long-standing admiration for Putin, writing:
Trump’s enthusiasm for Putin goes back a long way. He may be the only person (including his own children) that the president has refused to ever criticize in public. In 2013 on his way to Moscow, Trump tweeted the question: “…will [Putin] become my new best friend?” Five years later, the answer is a clear “yes”.
In fact, they are such good friends that they opted to meet in private, without note takers or officials, an intimacy not shared with Trudeau, May or any other leader. We will never know what they talked about but we can safely guess it was very amiable.
Gilmore concluded his article with the following grim prediction:
Putin is now giving Trump something he is finding increasingly hard to find elsewhere: validation and assurance. In Washington the president’s intelligence agencies, generals, White House advisors, congressional leaders and even Fox anchors are edging away.
Putin is becoming Trump’s last best friend. It is no wonder Trump has already invited him to Washington…. And, it is probable that the president’s trust in Putin will only go up as the number of allies around him goes down.
What will this mean for a president who is already badly detached from traditional American foreign policy? Trump’s positions will become even more radical. As Trump’s last best friend pulls him toward the Russian worldview, American criticism, especially from Republican ranks, will only push him farther into Putin’s reassuring embrace. In other words, it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.