Vice President Mike Pence slathered lipstick all over the pig of Donald Trump’s anti-American, pro-Russia comments during his press conference in Poland Thursday. But not even Fox host Laura Ingraham seemed fooled.
As I previously noted, Trump childishly attacked CNN and MSNBC, refused to definitively say that Russia interfered with our 2016 presidential election, he undercut our intelligence community and falsely accused President Barack Obama for doing “nothing” about the Russian interference Trump refused to acknowledge. All in all, it was just the kind of talk that certainly pleased Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But despite smearing the media of his own country, its intelligence community and its former president, Pence insisted Trump was awesomely pro-American and a refreshing change from anti-American Obama.
PENCE: I think what the world saw today is what we see every day in this president and that is unapologetic American leadership. I mean, it really is remarkable to think that for the last eight years we had an administration that was more often than not apologizing for America around the world, boasting about leading from behind and today, in Warsaw, Poland … President Donald Trump reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to be the leader of the free world.
To her credit, guest host Ingraham challenged that baloney. She noted that Trump was criticized for attacking Obama, “not doing more to address the Russian meddling,” “attacking the press in a country where a lot of people think the free press is endangered” and also criticizing the intelligence community. She asked pointedly, “Would you have gone to Europe and criticized President Obama?”
Pence did not answer the question.
However, Pence did find another way to keep whitewashing Trump’s hideous remarks.
PENCE: Well, look, this president is always going to favor the media and the public with candor and in the press conference that took place earlier today, he responded to those questions.
But Ingraham did not challenge Pence’s distortion.
Pence even went on to argue that Trump had taken a bold stand against Russia.
PENCE: I think looking at that speech in that historic square in Warsaw, you saw the president lay out a vision for the west, in his words, a commitment of will that will never back down to the shared values that we in this transatlantic alliance have now shared for more than 75 years and to hear his reaffirmation of our commitment to NATO, of Article 5, to hear him call on our NATO allies to continue to live up to the commitments they’ve made to our common defense and, in the same breath, to call on Russia, the day before his meeting with President Putin to cease their activities, to cease supporting hostile regimes – again, I just have to tell you, for me, it was an example of the kind of bracing, direct and candid leadership that people across this country welcome in this president and, frankly, as I hear in leaders around the world, they are welcoming a president of the United States who’s embracing his role as leader of the free world. In a very real sense, under President Trump, America is back.
Again, that was too much for Ingraham. She pointed out that Trump has had “a frosty relationship” with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. She also noted that the E.U. is forging a new trade deal with Japan and, she claimed, they’re trying to use that as leverage against the United States.
“What the world understands is President Trump is going to put America first,” Pence insisted.
Right. Except when it comes to Russian interference in our elections, that is.
Watch Pence’s alternate reality below, from the July 6, 2017 Hannity show.
The reality is that the Pence White House’s public spokesman once again embarrassed himself, this time with a rambling, pedantic set of remarks that served just to aggrandize himself and further his obsession with trying to bully his critics and insult President Obama. The audience at this speech was a group of Far Right supporters of the Polish regime and of US Far Right notions, so it’s no surprise that they were eagerly applauding and chanting his name. Essentially, the Polish regime just gave Trump a rally like he’d get in Texas. Probably made him feel right at home.
The reality of the Pence White House’s approach to foreign affairs is that we’ve managed to alienate the rest of the world – in a manner that may take decades to undo the damage. Where before the US was looked to as a nation the world could depend on for leadership in multiple areas, now the world is retreating from America and charting their own course, since Trump has made clear that Pence has little interest in working with them. This isn’t completely a bad thing – it’s healthier for other nations to find their own path and not worry about our behavior, and in the long run it means that the balance of global relations will be more even. But in the short term, one really wonders how the next president in 2021 will be able to convince Angela Merkel or any other foreign leader that the commitments we make will be honored in the future. This is precisely the mess that Tom Cotton was trying to make with his treasonous letter to Iran a couple of years ago, when the GOP was frantically trying to scuttle Kerry’s work there. The behavior of the Pence White House is essentially a continuation of the Cotton letter – it tells the rest of the world that they can’t depend on the US to live up to its obligations, and that other nations should expect that the American Right will petulantly walk away from any commitments we make that they don’t feel like honoring.
I note that this situation is also reflected in the Pence White House’s domestic policy, which is entirely driven by their obsession with erasing everything accomplished by President Obama’s administration over 8 years. We can see it in Pence’s shameful approach to foreign refugees, who are once again being threatened by the Muslim ban, thus reinforcing the notion that America is no longer receptive to “your poor, your tired, your huddled masses”, but instead would like slam the door on their fingers. We can see it in Pence’s continuing attempts to create a racist, hateful wall on the Mexican border, and in Trump’s continuing attempts to bully the Mexican people about it – including the fantasy that he can force the Mexicans to fund it. We can see it in Pence’s steady increase in pressure on undocumented immigrants, particularly those who enrolled in the DACA program. After another president takes off and tries to undo this damage, it’s hard to see how the DACA enrollees will ever trust a US president again – since any program can simply be erased by the next president on a whim, and the enrollees’ information can be used as a weapon to deport them. (And this is really a big point of the Pence approach here – where President Obama tried to bring these people out of the shadows and into some kind of normalcy, the Pence group is intent on chasing them out of the light. Because in addition to feeding the Right’s hatred of Mexican immigrants, it really helps the various businesses who employ them – if the immigrants are constantly scared of being deported and are living with one eye over their shoulder, they’ll work for much lower wages and much worse conditions. So it’s a win-win.)
And there’s the whole healthcare debacle – where insurers properly do not believe that Pence will honor the various subsidies and supports that President Obama instituted for the ACA. Since Pence’s spokesman keeps yelling that the ACA is “dead”, the insurers are doing what they must to protect their own bottom line – they’re backing away from it. The situation was already tenuous enough with so many GOP governors and state legislators refusing to participate and thus making their own residents’ lives more difficult. With the Pence White House refusing to subsidize the insurers (as we predicted Pence would do), what little coverage was available in many red states has now been reduced to a tiny amount, if anything. It’s been a self-fulfilling prophecy, intended to help buttress Trump’s constant whining about “victims of Obamacare” and about how it’s “failed”. After the Senate proceeds to a simple repeal of the ACA (which I understand can be quickly confirmed by the House and sent to Pence’s desk for signature), we’ll re-enter the scenario where tens of millions cannot afford healthcare and wind up in the emergency rooms when their situations become dire. Just like the immigrants and the refugees and the rest of the world, the insurers and medical providers will be extremely wary of any further government programs in the future. And that’s the point for the Far Right.
Trump claims ‘everyone’ at G-20 is talking about Podesta’s role in Russian hacking episode
By John Wagner July 7 at 10:11 AM
Ahead of meetings at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, President Trump on Friday fired off a Twitter post claiming “everyone” there was talking about the role of John Podesta, the former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman, in last year’s Russian email hacking scandal.
Donald J. Trump
Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!
3:40 AM – 7 Jul 2017
Trump appeared to conflate two parts of the email scandal. Email hacked from the Democratic National Committee server surfaced first last year, while hacked email from Podesta’s personal account came out later. Podesta had no role at the DNC.