CNN’s Brianna Keilar did a deep dive into President Trump’s affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin, beginning with how Trump has labeled as a “hoax” the U.S. intelligence reports that Putin placed bounties on American soldiers.
“The president is refusing to condemn or even acknowledge reports that Russia put bounties on American troops. Yet he claims to be tough on the Russian government. That’s just not true,” Keilar said.
Trump claims intelligence about Russia offering bounties for US troops was never brought to his attention even though it was in the presidential briefing he claims he reads all the time pic.twitter.com/A2iufPvZ8F
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 31, 2020
The host then went on to illustrate the work of CNN’s Marshall Cohen, who put together an extensive report citing 37 times where Trump has shown loyalty to Russia and Putin, superseding the interests of America, the country Trump has spent the past four years running into the ground.
“The president is seemingly smitten with the Russian president. He cannot stop praising him,” Keilar said as a video clip of Trump bragging about likely made-up occasions where Putin said “nice things” about him and allegedly referred to Trump as a “genius.”
“[Putin] has done a really great job of outsmarting our country. He could not have been nicer. He was so nice. He is really very much of a leader. He said nice things about me,” Trump said in 2014, adding, “I like him because he called me a genius. Putin did call me a genius.”
The compilation video then showed what should have been damning statements by the then-presidential candidate. Trump not only equated former American presidents with a leader who is known for ordering assassinations on journalists and adversaries, but he then turned a question about Putin’s murderous ways into an indictment of his own country.
“We got a lot of killers—a lot of killers. Why do you think our country is so innocent? You think our country is so innocent?… Take a look at what we’ve done too,” Trump said.
Keilar then blasted the president with a rapid-fire laundry list of pro-Putin, pro-Russia and anti-American actions and musings from the starstruck possible Russian asset occupying the White House:
- Trump congratulated Putin on winning reelection, giving his sham election legitimacy.
- He considered visiting Putin on Russian soil despite the fact that Russia attacked the U.S. election.
- He also gave Putin a PR victory on coronavirus by accepting a large delivery of medical supplies from Russia, a move that was regarded as a stunt by Moscow.
- He pleases Putin over and over again, constantly criticizing NATO. To this day, Putin wants to weaken the alliance.
- And speaking of alliances, the president asked allies to let Russia back into the G-7. The other member nations refused. He also invited Moscow to the G-7 summit again. Allies rejected him.
- But Trump doesn’t just praise Putin. The president has also praised far-right European leaders aligned with Putin.
- He likes to tell Moscow secrets about the U.S. Four months into his presidency, the president gave classified intelligence to the Russians inside the Oval Office.
- Trump directed the CIA to share more with Russia, according to two former CIA officials. Even though the U.S. received nothing in return.
- The Trump administration considered returning two diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland to Russia after they were seized for spying.
But Keilar was not done. She continued by showing Trump’s “lovefest” with Putin went even as far back as the hiring of Paul Manafort: “Who spent a decade working for pro-Russian politicians and parties in Ukraine, breaking with U.S. policy,” the host said.
Keilar went on at some length to prove a point that is well-known by now. But during a time of constant distraction, it’s good to be reminded how far Trump will go for personal gain, at the expense of the United States. Trump has even “sided with Putin against his own intel agencies in front of the world,” the host said.
Keilar circled back to the bounties intel and also spoke about Trump’s favor to Putin just this week—the withdrawal of almost 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany.
“This year, he ignored warnings of Russian bounties on American troops after being repeatedly told in person and in written intelligence briefings. He still has not acted or condemned those reports,” she said. “Instead, he has dismissed that story as a hoax. And he also never raised the issue with Putin himself, even though he’s had several opportunities to do so.”
Keilar added, “Finally, yesterday, he ordered U.S. troops out of Germany, which compromises Europe based defenses against Russia.”
“So has the president been soft on Russia? Oh, the answer is yes. At least 37 times, yes,” Keilar concluded.