President Donald J. Trump’s surprise decision to abandon the Kurds and sign off on Turkey’s operation in Syria drew condemnation in the West, but was cheerfully welcomed in Russia, and, for those who follow Russia closely, the contrast revived the ghosts of Helsinki, where Trump’s surrender of American values was on full display.
There in Finland last year, the leader of the most powerful country in the world demonstrated cringeworthy servility toward Vladimir Putin—president of a rogue government sanctioned by the West for a great number of malign activities, including Russia’s brazen interference in the U.S. elections.
The world’s pariah looked triumphant next to the deflated American president. As Trump stood hunched over, with a blank expression, Putin was practically glowing—and he wanted the world to know just how great the meeting went for Russia. Putin held up a thick stack of his notes with both hands, showing them off for the world to see, in effect giving himself the thumbs-up.
Close-up of Putin’s notes shows the following list of topics, from what I can decipher:
1. “Interference” (in quotes) – proposal
2. #Ukraine – new ideas, transit of gas
3. Syria – joint humanitarian efforts pic.twitter.com/KvqiyCTuuW
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) July 16, 2018