Under normal circumstances, the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an opportunity for the sitting United States president to crack wise at the media’s expense. In recent years, Former President Barack Obama rose to the occasion and did not disappoint. This year, however, the nation was deprived of that entertainment because the mainstream media in the United States has completely lost its sense of humor, when it comes to all things presidential.
All is not lost, however; Russian President Vladimir Putin came to the rescue Wednesday when he turned a press conference in Sochi, Russia into a roast of the American press. His rare demonstration of wit was evoked by the recent meeting between President Donald Trump and senior Russian officials.
Trump faces the hysterical accusations that he divulged “highly classified” information to the Russian Ambassador and Foreign Minister during a meeting last week at the White House. As reported by Liberty Nation, the Washington Post lead the charge but failed to cite any credible sources for its accusations. Basing its reporting of the meeting only on the words – or opinions – of “current and former U.S. officials.”
Which U.S. officials attended the meeting? Only three: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Dina Powell, the president’s Deputy National Security Advisor. Powell has made no comments on what was discussed, while McMaster and Tillerson rejected the idea that “highly classified” information was shared with the Russians.
Absent any further explanation, it appears that the fine folks at the Washington Post, along with others, are concerned that the President admitted to having been briefed on intelligence reports. It is as if the mere admission by Trump that he is privy to intelligence-gathering operations constitutes revealing classified information. The Post, therefore, inhabits an alternate universe in which no other nation on earth is aware that the United States possesses a clandestine intelligence apparatus. Further; that America does not receive intelligence reports from any of its allies.
Well, now, the cat is out of the bag. Thanks to our blabbermouth President, the entire world now knows that intelligence-gathering is a thing. Surely, the Russians, the Chinese – and who knows which other countries? – will now also begin to gather their own intelligence. Thanks, Mr. President, you have managed to give away our secret weapon.
The comic nature of the situation was not lost on the Russian leader; Putin offered to provide the U.S. with the Russian embassy’s own records of the meeting. With a touch of barely-concealed sarcasm, he revealed disappointment in his Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, for not passing on the classified information that President Trump had, apparently, revealed. According to a report on the website of ABC News, Putin said “It was necessary to issue [Lavrov] a reprimand, a rebuke, because he didn’t share these secrets. Not with me, not with the Russia’s intelligence services. That…that’s very bad from his side.” This drew a laugh from Lavrov, who was at the press conference.
More seriously, however, Vladimir Putin shared a telling and perceptive insight into the current state of American politics. Rebuking U.S. politicians for fermenting “Anti-Russian sentiment,” the Russian president made a reference to what is, indeed, the greatest problem currently facing the United States federal government; he, Putin, would only reveal his opinion of the new U.S. president “when he’s allowed to work at full capacity.”
This one remark is far more pertinent – and, perhaps, concerning – than Donald Trump revealing to the Russians that he receives intelligence briefings. Putin, who is, arguably, America’s greatest frenemy, understands that the Trump administration is suffering from a kind of paralyses, induced, mainly, by an avalanche of investigations, congressional hearings, legal challenges and – not least – by the left-wing media’s obsession with turning Trump’s every decision into a phony scandal.
Vladimir Putin, it would seem, possesses a dry sense of humor. He must be laughing to himself every time he reads the mainstream American press. The Washington Post, the New York Times and other news outlets, by constantly portraying the administration as incompetent, dishonest and generally incapable of leading the nation, are creating dangers to this country that far exceed the risk of anything the President revealed to Sergey Lavrov.
When Donald Trump described the media as “the enemy of the American people,” he may have been closer to the truth than many are willing to admit.