The J.E.Dyer perspective is always worth waiting for, a real intellect discerning the “what is and what isn’t.” on any given issue she takes on..
Helsinki: Trump does it his way; the ‘narrative’ loses control
Monday, 16 July 2018, is a turning point in the affairs of men. But the lexicon and orthodox canon of Western progressivism aren’t able to frame or describe the event in a useful way. Trump’s critics aren’t having the exploding-head reaction because of what he actually said, but because of what their ears heard him say, through a filter of orthodoxy which they are simply incapable of removing.
We’ve been hearing about the joint Trump-Putin press conference all day. The refrain from every side is the same: Trump was soft on Putin, and he “slammed,” or at least failed to back up, his own intelligence agencies regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.
There is no need to document chapter and verse on all the high-profile figures who have come out to say Trump needs to walk this back. That has been done elsewhere, and I commend examples to your perusal (and here, and here for reactions from Twitter polloi).
But it is far, far more important for you to read what Trump actually said in the press conference (link below). The importance of doing that cannot be overemphasized. I think it is better, in fact, to read what he said, rather than trying to take it in and reflect on it from watching Trump in a video.
You will find, if you listen to Trump’s words, that he did not “slam” his intelligence agencies. He didn’t even directly address whether Putin sought to interfere in the 2016 election (although he did say Putin’s denial of that was “strong and powerful.” No, those aren’t the adjectives I would choose, but Trump rarely uses the adjectives I would choose for any topic. Neither did Obama, for that matter).
It’s what Trump did do that has everyone in a tizzy. Trump broke with the ruling narrative that what Russia may have done in 2016 affected the U.S. election, in such a way that the effects justify a year and a half and counting of self-imposed political paralysis for the American nation.
Trump didn’t speak in pious, litmus-test terms of what Russia did. Merely doing that would have satisfied his more mainstream, mostly half-hearted supporters. (Nothing will ever satisfy his critics.) But Trump didn’t do that.
He took this opportunity to make his strategic break with the narrative. And that is big. But to believe that it means Trump is in Russia’s pocket, you have to believe a whole warehouse full of facts not in evidence.
Of course Russia tried to do something – it’s not clear what – to “interfere with” the U.S. election. Russia has been doing that for just shy of 100 years; why should 2016 be any different? The U.S. intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in 2016 made reference to the extensive history of Russian efforts to inject disinformation and divisive themes into foreign politics, including American politics and American elections. That history was a major basis for the assessment about 2016, and that’s legitimate. But it doesn’t prove anything about any specific purpose for hacking the Democratic computer systems – much less prove that the hacking in question had any effect on the election.
Indeed, the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community have said repeatedly that they can’t draw any connection between the Russian actions they believe to be documented and the outcome of the election. One need not accept every conclusion they have presented about the facts, per se, to agree that that is a carefully framed, responsible on-the-record statement.