New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman excoriated Donald Trump calling him a “total sucker for Putin.” in his article titled “Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now.” But his admonition of Trump did not end there. He appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and finished the job. I am sure Donald Trump was blowing a cap while listening.
Thomas Friedman excoriates Donald Trump and the Republican Party
— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) February 21, 2018
President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs. In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. …
My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president. But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naïve about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the F.B.I. and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden. That must not be tolerated. This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.
On The Last Word, he was even more succinct.
“So what would it actually look like if we had a real president,” Thomas Friedman said. “Not someone who’s running the Trump Organization and seems to moonlight as president of the United States. Here’s what a real president would do. First of all, he would give a speech to the country explaining the problem to people in a language in a way that would be both compelling and illuminating for people so they understand the nature of the threat. Secondly, you would call together all the stakeholders, state the local election authorities, all the social networks, all the people who run our federal elections, leaders of the two parties, and basically lay out a plan of defense for how we’re going to prevent this intervention in the future. And the third thing you would do would call in his national security team and lay out an offense. Why are we sitting here every day reading about Russian intervention in our election? How Putin is basically using lies to divide us and poison our democracy. Why are we not selling the truth about him, all the money he’s stolen, all the people he’s basically made disappear from Russian politics. Why are we not using the truth to undermine his autocracy while he is using lies and poison to undermine our democracy? That’s what a real president would look like. Donald Trump did none of these and it is appalling. He should be ashamed of himself.”
Friedman then extended his wrath to the Republican Party.
“Where’s the Republican Party,” Friedman asked. Where is his own party which claims for so many years to be the daddy party? the national security party, the adults in the room. That not ‘a one’ of them has come out, none of their leadership, and basically called the president out on this. That’s disgusting and it’s deeply troubling.”
Friedman then condemned the president with one of the most telling sentences.
“We have a president who is either compromised by Russia or is such a towering fool, he actually believes what he told us he believes, that he asked Vladimir Putin if he did this, and Putin told him no and he believes him,” Friedman said. “That is the president who said he’s done more than Barack Obama!.”
Thomas Friedman did not pull any punches. He let the president and the Republicans have it.