The two major White House scandals of the week are still as baffling as they were yesterday. Staffers wonder if Trump is “completely f*cked” by the Comey memo, and then there’s the matter of Trump dropping “highly classified” information from Israel to Russians in the Oval Office. The latter disaster has reportedly endangered the life of a spy who’s currently planted inside ISIS, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is stepping up to defend Trump, who he says did not divulge any secrets to the Russian foreign minister or ambassador. And he’s willing to “prove” his claim with the Russian version of a transcript.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The Washington Post reported last night that Trump invited Russians into the Oval Office because Putin asked him to do it (which really puts all that Russian photographer trickery into further perspective). Now that everything has blown up, Putin wants to absolve Trump of all wrongdoing. WaPo now relays Putin’s promise to hand the transcript to Congress — because he delusionally believes that U.S. lawmakers will trust a document from a foreign leader who personally directed election interference. Reuters adds Putin’s jokey admonishment for Russian Foreign Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, who he says did not return with any juicy secrets:
“I spoke to him (Lavrov) today,” said Putin with a smile. “I’ll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us. Not with me, nor with representatives of Russia’s intelligence services. It was very bad of him.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, quickly assessed the uselessness of Putin’s offer: “Probably the last person the person [Trump] needs to vouch for him right now is Vladimir Putin.” However, Putin had preemptively lashed out at the “stupid” and “corrupt” critics of the Trump-Russia situation:
“It’s hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish can dream up next … Either they don’t understand the damage they’re doing to their own country, in which case they are simply stupid, or they understand everything, in which case they are dangerous and corrupt.”
Yep, Vladimir Putin, who recently inspired anticorruption protests throughout Russia and kills critical journalists, has described U.S. critics as corrupt. The ridiculousness of the situation is almost too much, and then one remembers that Trump actually defended how Putin kills journalists. So, Putin’s maybe returning a favor with his transcript offer? Who knows.