Donald Trump

Trump Contradicts His Intelligence Director, Says Russia Is Not Currently Targeting U.S.

Trump also said he doesn't think any of his predecessors have been as tough on Russia as him.

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CNN/Twitter/Screenshot

President Donald Trump doesn't think the U.S. is being targeted by Russia, though his director of national intelligence said otherwise just last week.

When a reporter asked Trump today if Russia is still targeting the U.S., he responded, "No." On Friday, by contrast, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a speech that Russia is the "most aggressive foreign actor" when it comes to cyberattacks. "And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy."

Trump's comments on Russia came after several days of controversy over remarks he made Monday during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump told the world he accepted Putin's claim that the Russian government did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, even though U.S. intelligence officials have said Russia was responsible for the hack of Democratic National Committee emails. Yesterday, Trump said that he misspoke and that he believed Russia did interfere in the election.

Though Trump has faced criticism for not being tough enough in his dealings with Putin, he insisted today that he's been tougher on Russia than all of his predecessors. "We are doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia. And there's been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia," the president said. "And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media. He understands it and he's not happy about it and he shouldn't be happy about it."

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  1. “Trump also said he doesn’t think any of his predecessors have been as tough on Russia as him.”

    This is indisputably true from a policy perspective. Libertarians should actually be criticizing Trump for needlessly provocative actions against Russia (arming Ukraine; putting missiles back in Eastern Europe, and expanding NATO to Putin’s border).

    Despite Trump’s verbal diarrhea we have become significantly more hawkish toward Russia in actions. I remember when libertarians use to say that was a bad thing.

    1. How did Trump expand NATO to Putin’s border? Poland and the Baltic states have been in NATO for years and no other NATO country borders Russia.

      1. Actually I need to modify this slightly. Norway and Russia also share a very small border, but Norway has been in NATO for decades.

      2. “Border” would be the wrong phrasing. You’re right. “Sphere of influence” would be more accurate. Montenegro was the most recent addition.

        And Congress and the president both were apart of expanding the alliance.

        1. To be more specific: Montenegro borders Serbia, which is a Russian ally. And traditionally, the Russians have held sway in Eastern Europe.

        2. “Montenegro should be kept out of NATO because otherwise Russia might get mad that it can’t do whatever it wants” is not a compelling bit of policy advice, though.

          (“Provocative”. Well. Uh huh.

          Peace in our time, baby.)

          1. Imagine if Russia had an anti-American alliance stretching from South America through Central America. Would we not get upset if this alliance were to include Cuba in its pact?

            Oh wait, that literally happened in real life and our response was not positive. Why should we expect Russia to respond differently?

            1. Comrade, fuck Russia.

            2. Why should we expect Russia to respond differently?

              Because we’re ‘Murica, bitches! Whatevah! We do what we want!

            3. Is Manifest Destiny still a thing?

              Trump should revive it.

              1. Didn’t the US already fulfill its manifest destiny? Or was 52 40 originally part of that?
                Lebensraum to the frozen north! (build a wall quickly, Rufus)

            4. Why should we care what Russia thinks? Montenegro is a sovereign country that is free to join whatever alliances it wants to.

              Russia is a shell of its former self and can only compete with asymmetric warfare, primarily computer crimes but also mercenaries in smaller countries.

              If Ukraine had been part of NATO, Russia would not have entered the country. The only time Article V has been invoked was after 9/11, because it is a deterrent to invasions of member nations.

            5. Imagine if Russia had an anti-American alliance stretching from South America through Central America. Would we not get upset if this alliance were to include Cuba in its pact?

              Oh wait, that literally happened in real life and our response was not positive. Why should we expect Russia to respond differently?

              Are you stating an opinion about the desirability of Russia doing such a thing? It has been doing it for decades all across the globe, from the Americas to Africa to Asia. The world is swimming in AK-47s. Think that’s an accident?

              Let me rephrase your question circa 1938: “Imagine if Germany had an alliance stretching from Spain through Central and Southern Europe. Would we not get upset if this alliance were to include Poland in its pact?”

              Damn right. And I’m pretty sure that was the goal. Are you suggesting it wouldn’t be sane to get upset?

              The Soviet Union was a genuinely evil regime. Do you disagree? And here’s Putin on it’s fall:

              First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century

    2. President Obama was less aggressive toward Russia than this administration that has John Bolton on staff (who would have though?). But, I don’t recall libertarians joining in on the conservative talking point that Obama was pro-Iran (a Russian ally) or pro-Putin. Nor should they have

      1. Depends on who counts as “libertarians”.

        1. Ok, I’ll be more specific: Reason and CATO

  2. Well, if we take “Russia” as different from “The USSR”, he’s probably right about that.

    (cf. “Reset button” for recent history.)

  3. Verbally he is not.

    In terms of policies, he unquestionably is.

    Depends on what you think is more vital.

    1. 2 + 2 = 5

      1. You are Hihn-ing wrong.

        1. Left + Right = Zero.

      2. That formula pretty much sums up the new Cold War that’s being pushed. Maybe if you focused on “facts” rather than “no, no, words” you might leave the John Birch Society

        1. The new cold war is pushed by criminal acts out of Russia.

  4. “…their efforts to undermine our democracy.”…Hyperbole much? Damn. Is that another way of saying “meddling”? Does anyone else enjoy how that has become the media’s go to word to describe “the Russian thing”. They want us to believe the free world is at stake and they routinely use meddling to describe it. I think that results from having no evidence of a crime. Meddling is what mother in laws do.

    1. Honestly. If that’s all it takes to “undermine democracy” then we ought to just give up on the idea of functioning democracy right now. You can’t isolate elections from the rest of the world any more than you can from domestic moneyed interests. And if voters are so gullible and democracy so fragile, then it’s always been a lost cause.

    2. “Undermine” our democracy? That’s relatively measured. Hell, on Bloomberg radio Monday morning they were talking about the Russians “splintering Our Democracy.”

      You know, about seven decades ago, the Russians had a spy serving a confidential aide to FDR while FDR was engaged in negotiations with an earlier Russian dictator. The Russians also, at the same time had a spy serving as the fucking Undersecretary of the Treasury, and had spies deep within our nuclear weapons program, helping the Russians develop weapons that could incinerate Our Democracy. The Russians continued to have spies deep within our government for the ensuing forty years, and engaged in other ongoing subversive activities targeting America and the Free World. Yet Our Democracy survived. And if it could survive that, it can also survive Putin’s antics.

  5. Putin wanted the Uranium One deal badly and also (later on) the Iran Nuclear Treaty deal badly. Russia makes a lot of weapons which Iran could buy if they had the cash and the two countries have trouble-making clients in common to support.

    Putin knew for a gospel fact that Obama was one-stop shopping for any controversial treaty or business deal because the mainstream media in America (1) was not going to question for even a micro-instant anything wanted, (2) the same MM were far too lazy to do any investigative reporting anyhow, and (3) it was becoming clear that the CIA under guys like Brennan and Clapper and the FBI under guys like Mueller, Comey, Strzok, McCabe, were not going to cause any trouble at all for whatever Obama desired either.

    Why did Barack want what he wanted? Nobel P.P. complex. People who contract it will sacrifice anything, pay any price in your tax dollars, to make the chimera look like a rock candy mountain.

  6. http://www.theamericanconservative.co…..th-russia/

    This is the indictment against Trump’s Russian policy that is based in fact rather than media conjecture

    1. good read

  7. Trump doesn’t see his being made president as the undermining of anything, even if the rest of the world does.

    1. Considering most of the ‘rest of the world’ is composed of shit holes, tin pot banana republics, useless islands with parasails, pseudo–democracies, countries that consider dog burger a treat, and now Woke nation-states in Europe, I wouldn’t worry too much what the ‘ROW’ thinks of America.

      But I’m Canadian so what do I know? I just know progressives are hysterical illiterate twits who lack principles.

      1. hysterical illiterate twits who lack principles.

        Which is why you’re defending Donald Trump.

        1. I don’t see how that correlates to defending him.

          But no. I’m not. Only you would take it as that.

          Sane and skeptical minds are considered to be ‘defending’ him for merely pointing out their shrill and baseless pant sitting. What a country and times we live in!

          1. I inferred that you were suggesting that being an hysterical, illiterate twit who lacks principles is a bad thing. My mistake.

            1. Imagine if you addressed facts rather than fantasy. Can you dispute the policy?

              1. The policy of letting Russia pick our presidents? No thanks.

                1. It’s amazing that you might think you’re a serious person in any way. Pushing conspiracy theories with no basis in reality, while rejecting actual facts is quite unhinged

                  1. And your command of English is admirable, if not perfect.

                    1. You are raving mad

                    2. Just to clarify once again… you say that meaning it’s a bad thing, right?

                2. Tony is gonna marry a carrot.

                  1. Worked for Melania.

                    1. Tony, Your total lack of knowing how to debate is on full view with this thread. It’s as if you don’t even try.

                    2. But I don’t really.

      2. Thanks, Rufus, but we already knew we should ignore you and the rest of the Great Woke North.

        1. Sometimes I feel so unwanted.

  8. And there’s been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia,” the president said. “And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media. He understands it and he’s not happy about it and he shouldn’t be happy about it.”

    Putin said he preferred Trump to Hillary, which ought to put to rest any question of Putin’s “adversarial” relationship with the US. If Putin was an adversary, wouldn’t he want the weakest, dumbest, most-easily manipulated candidate to win? Instead, he supported Trump, the smartest, most capable, most popular president ever to hold the office, the guy who made America great again. Now, if Putin supports making America great again, obviously he’s no adversary of ours so why should we treat him as one?

    1. Imagine if you addressed reality instead of fantasy.

  9. Trump’s been banging on the deep state relentlessly, then gives them more money. What did he think would happen? He has only himself to blame.

  10. Does anyone doubt that Sarah Sanders will soon summon all of her Ouachita Baptist powers and pronounce that President Trump meant “yes” when he said “no,” and that the only people who needed the clarification and did not understand his intended meaning from the start is an America-hating, college-degreed, fancy-pants liberal?

    1. I agree that only idiots focus on words rather than the actual policy that contradicts their unhinged fantasies. Yes, that’s absolutely true.

      1. Words are the job we hired him for.

        Idiots do not know.

        The president does not know he has a job. Idiot.

        1. Needs more “idiot”

          1. Or cowbell.

          1. Yes. The government minus the president is trying to keep things business as usual with Russia, though clearly they are to some degree falling behind given Trump’s own team’s recent warnings.

            The problem is Trump himself. Every time his government is “tough” on Russia, he whines about it. Then when convenient he brags about it. Every step he tries to pull back or undermine efforts by the foreign policy establishment to counter Russia.

            And that’s perfectly understandable. They don’t have tapes of the foreign policy establishment getting pissed on by hookers.

            1. Those are all agencies and policies that are a direct result of this administration and in contrast to the previous administration.

              I don’t even support the policies, but they really make your arguments seem like those of a lunatic or John McCain, which I’m not sure is any better

              1. There’s continuity in the Deep State, and unlike most people here I believe that to be a good thing.

                Given what kind of ridiculous nutjobs Russia can install as president, it’s good that their power to significantly affect foreign policy is limited.

                1. Tony – do you realize that you are asserting that the American public should have no say whatsoever in foreign policy, and that it’s good that it’s relegated to a secret cabal of self-appointed “experts” unaccountable to the citizens of the country?

                  1. I’m for what works. Has another world war broken out since we invented global cooperation and the foreign policy establishment in the wake of the last one?

                    Haven’t the instances we’ve committed ourselves to shitty wars in that time been largely fueled by politics?

                    I’m not a utopian. Just food for thought.

                    1. Has another world war broken out since we invented global cooperation and the foreign policy establishment in the wake of the last one?

                      If you ignore the Cold War and the War on Terror, I suppose not.

                      Haven’t the instances we’ve committed ourselves to shitty wars in that time been largely fueled by politics?

                      You just now asserted that politics doesn’t have any influence on foreign policy and that that’s a good thing. Can you make up your mind on what position you are taking, please?

                    2. Is it all libertarians who struggle with black/white thinking or is it your specialty?

                      I was suggesting that whatever role the FPE played in Vietnam and Iraq, politics is what made them into truly special shitshows.

                      And no the Cold war and WoT don’t count as world wars. Those were the most special wars of all, what with involving the entire world, and it’s a good thing we’ve avoided another, because WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones, as the man said.

                    3. So in other words, yes, you believe that foreign policy should be divorced from the will of the American people.

                      Is it all libertarians who struggle with black/white thinking or is it your specialty?

                      This from the guy who year after year screams that we all have only two political choices, one which is always on the side of Good, the other which is always on the side of Evil.

                    4. So in other words, yes, you believe that foreign policy should be divorced from the will of the American people.

                      What if we get weekend visitation?

                      This from the guy who year after year screams that we all have only two political choices, one which is always on the side of Good, the other which is always on the side of Evil.

                      The first part of this sentence is simply happens to be true. The second is more of that black & white you struggle with. Some Democrats are evil, some Republicans are good, though off hand I can’t think of any.

                    5. Some Democrats are evil, some Republicans are good, though off hand I can’t think of any.

                      ^ Thinks he’s showing his ability to think in non-binary terms.

                    6. Those were the most special wars of all, what with involving the entire world, and it’s a good thing we’ve avoided another, because WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones, as the man said.

                      And if you’re not counting the Cold War or the War on Terror, two wars that happened on a global scale, as “World Wars,” then there hasn’t been a WWIII, yet, oh Enlightened One.

                      And what “the man” said was that if WWIII is fought with nuclear weapons then WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.

                      Why do you still come here only to have your ignorance exposed on a daily basis? You may use the “I’m not really trying” thing as an excuse to satisfy yourself, but you should know that you’re impressing literally no one else.

                    7. The Cold War was Cold. It was a good thing it stayed that way. I am contrasting it to the global hot wars and saying cold is better. And the WoT is hardly a world war. That’s just nonsense.

                      Would you care to offer an alternative way of going about foreign policy rather than just ignorantly requoting what I’ve already quoted and calling things what they aren’t? Would it be better for a single president or Congress to make all the foreign policy decisions without any professional bureaucratic backstop? Should we have a completely different foreign policy every two years as the dumbasses who populate this country swing back and forth about what they want, as is their habit? Would that be good for world peace?

                    8. Would it be better for a single president or Congress to make all the foreign policy decisions without any professional bureaucratic backstop?

                      ^ Thinks he’s showing his ability to think in non-binary terms.

                      Mostly I just find your selective commitment to democracy amusing.

                    9. Fair enough on nonbinary. So we both just want a pragmatic mix of what works best?

                      Everyone has a selective commitment to democracy. The people here are quite skeptical of it. You want my complete worldview on the balance of democracy and checks on democracy, maybe another time, I’m off to get some hot dogs!

                    10. The people here are quite skeptical of it.

                      Quite rightly, as you note (at the moment, while condemning everyone here for it when it suits you).

                      You want my complete worldview on the balance of democracy and checks on democracy

                      You don’t have anything like “a complete worldview.” You like to be a dick to anonymous strangers on the internet while claiming to be morally righteous. Nothing more, nothing less.

                      maybe another time, I’m off to get some hot dogs!

                      buh-bye!

                    11. No one should have a complete worldview. Nazis had a complete worldview. Libertarians both think they do and don’t, which is weird.

            2. I think we should be tough on Luxembourg
              Dirty bastards!

  11. Putin is fluent in Russian and German (from his days in the KGB) he is pretty good in English. He never says anything he cannot back up.

    Trump just admitted he cannot speak his own native language. The one guy who needs to get it right and he just admitted yet another mistake.

    Plants crave electrolytes.

    He did get something right. He denigrated all of his supporters. He said he could shoot someone on fifth avenue and they would back him. He was right about that.

  12. One could argue that with “the hack of Democratic National Committee emails”, Russia ASSISTED in the election rather than interfered with it.

    1. Good point.

  13. Montenegro has been neglected as a threat. “”They’re very strong people, they’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive and, congratulations, you’re in World War Three,”

    “There are lots of people out there”

    Donald Trump
    President of the United States of America

    1. Please?it’s MonteAfricanAmerican.

      1. Trying to start a war here?

  14. ‘ Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a speech that Russia is the “most aggressive foreign actor” when it comes to cyberattacks. “And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy.” ‘

    It wasn’t Russia that hacked the OPM records, it was China.

    1. Yeah but we’re 100% Russia now
      Don’t distract

  15. Though Trump has faced criticism for not being tough enough in his dealings with Putin, he insisted today that he’s been tougher on Russia than all of his predecessors

    Ridiculed by even FIVE hosts at Fox, Newt Gingrich and Trey Gowdy.

    Trump’s cult checks his Twitter feed daily, for their marching orders.

  16. Words matter. Hacking of DNC emails during the campaign is not the same thing as “hacking the election.”

    No votes were changed. Trump won an electoral landslide fair and square. Deal with it.

    1. You mean hacking according to the DNC paid consultant Crowdstrike?
      The FBI never looked at the DNC server

  17. Who believes the fucking “intelligence” agencies?
    You mean Clapper Brennan and Comey?
    Give me a break

    1. You mean those people infinitely more educated than you who worked in the profession at the absolute highest levels who happen to have a different opinion from yours?

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