Discussing the madness of Trump: Jeff Mason, the man from Reuters, seemed to be badly scared.
Over in Helsinki today, it fell to him to ask the first question of Commander Trump. Swallowing hard, he said this:
MASON (7/16/18): Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it's U.S. foolishness, stupidity and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia.Poor Mason! Trembling hard, he didn't dare articulate the obvious question at hand. Instead, he threw an open-ended question at our commander-in-chief.
Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular? And if so, what would you— What would you consider them, that they are responsible for?
Later, the AP's Jonathan Lemire wasn't timid at all. But Mason really failed to perform. He just flat seemed to be scared.
Still! When the Trumpster responded to Mason's lob, he took a standard route. "There was no collusion at all," he said. "Everybody knows it."
Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russkies? So far, no such charge has been lodged by the Mueller probe.
Still, journalists have struggled today to define the problems with what Trump said. We offer you two basic frameworks for ongoing discussion.
Concerning what may have occurred:
Robert Mueller is exploring two basic questions: 1) Did the Russkies interfere with the 2016 election? 2) Did the Trump campaign collude?
Note to journalists: The Trumpster likes to skip right past that first question. He prefers to address the second question, swearing that no one did. That's what he did today in his response to Mason.
Journalists, go ahead! Articulate each of these two different questions when you discuss what Trump said. Articulate what Trump did and didn't say with respect to each one.
For the most part, Trump took a dive on the first, basic question. Go ahead! You can say that right out loud!
Concerning possible reasons for Trump's bizarre behavior:
Has it ever been more clear? There are two basic possible reasons for Trump's bizarre behavior. Either or both could be true:
Either 1) he's being blackmailed or bribed by Putin, or 2) he's intellectually or psychologically incompetent. Either or both could be true.
Has this man ever appeared less competent than he did today? Sadly, though, the New York Times declared, in January, that we mustn't discuss the possibility that something is wrong with Donald J. Trump's mental health. And sure enough! From that point on, everyone has agreed to avoid any mention of this obvious possibility.
As we watched cable today, pundits struggled to define the two basic questions confronting Trump. Beyond that, they're still refusing to discuss the possibility that his intellect, or his mental health, could be severely impaired.
Mason pulled his punches first. Others soon followed suit.
No deference to Putin: As you can see in the transcript, Mason didn't defer to Putin. He only rolled over for Trump!