When I saw the news reports and then began seeing clips of the statements and news conference by Putin and Trump following their secret meeting, I was, like probably most Americans, shocked. Our president stood there in front of the world and said he believed Putin over all of our law and intelligence agencies and committees from both our Senate and House. He told the world that the U.S. is equally to blame for bad relations between us and Russia’s government. He then devolved into his tired litany of people to blame – the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, President Obama. And, as the world watched, he said the biggest threat to U.S. – Russia relations has been the “witch hunt.”
I was heartened when I saw responses from our nation’s leaders. Even Paul Ryan said, in a statement, that “the president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.” A few other Republicans called out the president - albeit gently, for the most part.
Watching the network news and then CNN and MSNBC last night, I saw the dismay voiced by not only political pundits, but by international relations experts and past national security and CIA leaders.
Out of curiosity, I jumped over to FOX News to see how they were reporting this incredible story. The first time, they were reporting on something else – a crime story, I believe. I tried again, and I got the Laura Ingraham show. There she was, with two or three pundits, mocking the nation’s and the world’s reaction to the president’s remarks. She showed clips of reporters and analysts on CNN and MSNBC and one of the major networks voicing their dismay and their concerns over how this can impact us on the world stage and at home. And then Ingraham and her guests smirked and laughed, saying this is much ado about nothing and that Trump has done a wonderful thing by sitting with an enemy and trying to be friends. They called the concern by Democrats and others as simply overblown hysteria and more partisan politics to try to hurt the president.
No wonder we have such disconnect between left and right in this country! Many on the right rely solely on FOX for their news – certainly Trump’s base does – and they are being fed information and comment that is simply wrong. Talk about fake news!!
So thanks to FOX and the other far-right media like Breitbart, Sinclair TV and Limbaugh, many people will simply continue believing there’s some “deep state” that’s trying to undermine the president and that he is doing amazing things on the world front as he, in reality, harms relations with our friends and allies and ignores what may have been the most significant attack on our nation since 9/11 – an attack that didn’t kill people but instead is part of an ongoing attempt to kill the basic principles and core beliefs of this great nation.
The president is not making America great again. It’s always been great. Rather, he’s working to chip away at that greatness because it doesn’t align with his vision of America as a place that favors the wealthy over the poor and a place where people from certain countries (like Norway) are more welcome than those who come from nations where the predominant skin color is black or brown.
We can only hope that, despite the hate-filled rhetoric spewing from the likes of FOX and Limbaugh, more of our elected officials, on both sides of the aisle, come to their senses and forcefully speak out and – better yet – initiate some action to censure the president for what he’s done. Former CIA chief John Brennan, who Trump just moments ago called “a very bad guy,” is right when he called Trump’s actions yesterday “nothing short of treasonous.”