Horror in Helsinki

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President Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference Monday in Helsinki, Finland.

We could talk about how Russian President Vladimir Putin has murdered many journalists and political opponents, and question how anyone, let alone the President of the United States, could not see him as the despicable despot that he is. We could point out how Putin has ordered the poisoning of Russian people living in England.

We could talk about how he has systematically robbed his countrymen and made himself one of the richest men in the world. We could note that he leads the only nation that invaded another country and annexed part of its territory since the end of World War II.

We could ask how anyone could not be outraged that Putin has actively supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and played a key role in the deaths of innocent Syrian citizens, many of them women and children.

We could ask those and many other questions about President Putin, a brutal dictator who has no regard for human life, for human rights or for the rule of law, and wonder why the American President so desperately wants to be his buddy.

It sounds like someone out of the movie, ‘The Manchurian Candidate.’

The words of the President, as well as of former Presidents and other leaders, past and present, speak for themselves and ought to be remembered on what can only be described as a dark day in American history.

“My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

President Donald Trump, R-New York, July 16, 2018, at joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

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President Regan delivers his farewell speech to the American people in the Oval Office in the White House on Jan. 11, 1989.

“The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I”ve thought a bit of the ‘shining city upon a hill.’ The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

President Ronald Reagan, R-California, Jan. 11, 1989, in his farewell address.

“We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of a worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth, but neither shall we shrink from that risk any time it must be faced.”

President John F. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, Oct. 22, 1962, in speech on Cuban Missile Crisis.

“I’ve seen the Russian intelligence manipulate many people many people in my career, and I never would have thought the US President would be one of them.”

– Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, former CIA officer, July 16, 2018, to CNN.

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“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, July 16, 2018, in statement released on his website.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

John Brennan, former CIA director, July 16, 2018, on Twitter.

“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy. We will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

Dan Coats, current director of National Intelligence, in statement released to media.

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