Michael Brown: Did Trump Make the Right Play or Did Trump Get Played?

From accusations of “treason” to blunt assessments that, “The President of the United States made a fool of himself in his meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin,” the majority consensus is that Putin won and Trump lost. Even the pro-Trump Drudge report headlined with, “PUTIN DOMINATES IN HEL.” (The accompanying picture of a confident, smiling Putin and a slump-shouldered Trump said it all.) But is it totally clear that Trump got played?

Naturally, the liberal media and the Democrats bashed Trump. But that was a foregone conclusion. No matter what the outcome of the summit, Trump would be lambasted by his opponents.

It’s the fact that a number of Republican congressmen also lined up to denounce Trump that is so concerning. (In particular, they were shocked at his trashing of American intelligence and his near-defense of Russia.)

Where was the expected bravado? Where was the alpha-male leader who got in the face of Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Teresa May and challenged the EU and NATO? Did he finally meet his match? Or was it simply a matter of Trump’s ego obscuring his vision? (In other words, he was more upset with Robert Mueller and the Democrats than he was concerned with speaking the truth to Putin.)

It’s possible that all the above (and more) are true.

It’s possible that Trump was thinking more about himself and his reputation than he was thinking about the good of America. It’s possible that he was outmaneuvered by the more politically savvy Putin. It’s possible he was even outmanned by Putin.

I don’t mean to defend his words, and I don’t claim to know his intentions.

And it’s clear that he has totally had it with the Mueller investigation. An investigation that has dragged on for endless months. An investigation that was triggered by leaks from the just-fired James Comey. An investigation that still offers no proof that Trump colluded with Russia.

What if, in the end, Trump will be found not guilty of collusion by Mueller? Just think of the hundreds of thousands of hours lost, of the millions of words spilled, of the dark suspicions aroused. And all because of what? A political (or, worse still, personal) vendetta? It is for good reason that Trump is upset.

But does that excuse what he said today, comparing American intelligence (and/or guilt) to Russian intelligence (and/or guilt)?

Ironically, the same liberals who cheered President Obama when he spoke freely of America’s failing when abroad are the very ones ready to crucify Trump. Conversely, the same conservatives who excoriated Obama as anti-patriotic are now scrambling to find ways to defend Trump. So much for unbiased media.

Putin, for his part, made some interesting remarks to Chris Wallace in a testy, post-press conference interview.

He explained there was no reason to meet if they were just going to insult each other, asking, “Why should this come as a surprise? Was it worth going all the way to Helsinki, going through the Atlantic, to just insult one another and — well, it’s not exactly the diplomatic standard in the world. There is no need to go and meet a person if you just want to insult another person. We met to try to find a way for improving our relationship and not aggravating it or destroying it completely.”

Could this be what Trump had in mind as well?

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Source: Christian Post