When President Donald Trump announced that he would be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Helsinki, a number of people in the United States attempted to suggest that he was ‘playing for the other team.’ Among them was his former competition for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, who suggested during the FIFA World Cup that President Trump didn’t seem to know which team he was playing for.
So, it’s hardly surprising that the ‘members of the press’ who showed up in Helsinki would continue pushing the still unproven ‘Russian Collusion’ talking point. Indeed, they even had the audacity to ask Putin if claims of collusion were true. Likely, they were not prepared for that response, and they were stunned by the six simple words he spoke that annihilated a long-running story. “Could you name a single fact?”
When Vladimir Putin was asked about claims of ‘Russian Collusion’ with the Donald Trump administration, he replied with a very witty, and deeply intelligent response.
“We should be guided by facts. Could you name a single fact that would definitively prove the collusion?” Putin responded.
He pointed out that people should be guided not by supposition, but rather by facts. Then he asked the gathered reporters if they could name a single fact that proves the claims of collusion.
Putin continued on and said that this story was “utter nonsense.”
He continued on to say that there’s an obvious reason for the way that he was kinder to President Donald Trump than his predecessor.
Putin, formerly a Colonel in the KGB, pointed out that it’s only natural that he would be friendlier to someone who was at least willing to try to reopen relations with his country than he would be to someone who had no interest in doing so at all (or, in the case of former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Clinton, being adversarial after failing to bring about a ‘Russian reset).
He also said that he is acting in the best interests of the country that he leads, just as Donald Trump is acting in the best interest of his own nation.
Furthermore, they’re working to reconcile, according to Putin. He said that he believed both nations had points in common, and that they were looking for “points of contact,” by which he seemed to mean things that both nations could come together on.
Such ‘points of contact’ might include keeping nuclear armaments out of the third world or stopping the spread of Islamic extremism, for example.
Though some may have forgotten what diplomacy looks like after years of Barack Obama generally bowing to foreign nations, this is it.
Foreign diplomacy does not have to look like the United States bowing to nations that depend on it for their continued existence.
It does not have to look like a foreign ‘apology tour,’ where an American president apologizes to nations offended by the way that a previous leader did his job.
Foreign diplomacy can look like the heads of two nations, one a superpower, the other a former superpower that could easily rise to that level again, talking calmly, soberly, and trying to come to an agreement where one is possible.
It’s interesting, too, that all these individuals who have been pushing narratives of Russian collusion couldn’t find a shred of evidence to support the story, even as the media in America trumpets every new indictment or claim against a member of the Trump campaign as evidence of such a phenomenon. Even when those indictments deal with activity nearly a decade before Donald Trump ran for the White House.
At this point, there is still no definitive evidence that indicates Donald J. Trump and/or his campaign colluded with Russia.
It also doesn’t help that, when the charges most closely related to collusion, don’t seem to hold up to scrutiny very well.
As Putin commented, one of the companies originally indicted by the Robert Mueller special investigation essentially called his bluff, and hired a real lawyer to represent them against charges that it’s likely no one ever thought would see the light of day.
When that happened, the Mueller investigation fought to avoid turning over evidence in discovery. Then, when compelled to turn over evidence, they decided to flood the court with untranslated evidence, providing terabytes of conversations from social media accounts.
This does not sound like the work of an investigation confident in its claims.
This is not to say that Putin is the ‘good guy’ in all of this. However, he could still easily be completely right about the collusion claims.