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The politics of having a Putin ‘puppet’ as president

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At a certain level, Donald Trump must realize that his spirited defenses of Russian President Vladimir Putin do his campaign no favors but the Republican nominee just cant seem to help himself.


Earlier this week, Trump said hed like to incorporate the Russian autocrat into his post-election presidential transition process, effectively rewarding Putin for suspected criminal efforts surrounding intervention in the American election. Last night, Trump read from the same script, pretending Russia may have had nothing to do with the recent email hacks ignoring his own intelligence briefings that told him the opposite and raving about Putin outsmarting U.S. leaders.


Trump also referred to the START arms agreement as the start up, and proceeded to get every relevant detail of the policy wrong.


The result was a stunning exchange, starting with Hillary Clintons explanation that Putin would rather have a puppet as president of the United States.



TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.


CLINTON: And its pretty clear


TRUMP: Youre the puppet!


CLINTON: Its pretty clear you wont admit


TRUMP: No, youre the puppet.


Yes, Americans were treated to a debate in which one of the candidates effectively rolled out the I know you are but what am I defense when discussing foreign policy.


Substantively, it was worse than the transcript suggests. In practical terms, Trump defended Putin, made excuses for Putin, rejected evidence of wrongdoing implicating Putin, praised Putin, and then said Clinton is actually the puppet for the Russian government.


Im sure someone, somewhere, will make the case that Trumps posture was coherent, but Im less sure how theyll do so with a straight face.

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Is Trump simply the "useful idiot" that has unwittingly fallen for Putin's game or is there something more insidious? Regardless of the outcome of the election, we need to know whether it is true that Trump borrowed the hundreds of millions from Putin's minions that Trump was unable to obtain from traditional banks because of his multiple bankruptcies. It has been reported that one of Trump's sons admitted to deep ties between the Trump organization and the Russians. That was a number of years ago. Obviously, if Trump had disclosed his tax returns, we would have better understanding of these issues. We also need to better understand the relationship Roger Stone, one of Trump's advisors, has with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Again, it has been reported that Stone has a back channel connection in this regard. In the end, we need to know whether the Trump organization has been working with the Russian government to influence the outcome of this election. Right now, the media is focused on the hype. The public deserves to know the truth.






All things considered, despite debating with an overgrown bratty three year old, Hillary shined on that UNLV stage. Welcome to the presidency, Ms. Clinton. Mr. Trump, go to your room and think very seriously about what you said. You're grounded for the next decade.

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