Sunday, July 31, 2016
A foolish man
Yeah, he knows what he's talking about:
ABC host George Stephanopoulos corrected Donald Trump after the Republican presidential nominee claimed that Russia was "not going to go into Ukraine."
Seriously people? Here's the exchange:
In an interview on ABC's "This Week" that aired Sunday, Trump asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not going to invade Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels — and some Russian special forces — have been operating for several years despite Putin's reluctance to acknowledge any role.
"He's not going into Ukraine, just so you understand. He's not going to go to Ukraine," Trump said.
"Well, he's already there, isn't he?" Stephanopoulos replied.
Trump responded by simultaneously criticizing the US's decision not to intervene to stop the annexation of Crimea, a former Ukrainian territory seized by Russia in 2014, and noting that many citizens of Crimea were allegedly supportive of Russia's decision to invade.
"Well, he's there in a certain way, but I'm not there. You have Obama there," Trump said. "And frankly that part of the world is mess, under Obama. With all the strength that you're talking about, and with all the power of NATO, and all of this, in the mean time, [Putin] takes Crimea."
He added: "You know the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were, and you have to look at that also."
Earlier in the interview, the real-estate magnate shrugged off his campaign's influence in removing a provision of the Republican Party platform that would've advocated providing arms to Ukraine to defend itself from Russian aggression.
"I was not involved in that. I'd have to take a look at it, but I was not involved in that," Trump said of the decision to alter the platform.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Vice President Biden told me this week that Vladimir Putin wants to beat Hillary and Madeleine Albright said that your victory would be a gift to Putin.
And what they're pointing to is things like your statements about conditioning our commitments to NATO allies, softening the GOP platform on Ukraine, even considering softening sanctions and recognizing Russian annexation of Crimea. They fear that that's going to hurt America and advance Russia's interests.
TRUMP: They only fear one thing, losing the election. If our country got along with Russia, that would be a great thing. When Putin goes out and tells everybody -- and you talk about a relationship, but he says Donald Trump is going to win and Donald Trump is a genius, and then I have people saying you should disavow. I said, I'm going to disavow that?
But when Putin says good things and when we have a possibility of having a good relationship with Russia...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if we have a good relationship...
TRUMP: -- I think...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- his annexation of Crimea.
TRUMP: I'm not going to be mean to anybody. George, you know me pretty well. I don't bow, OK. I don't bow.
But if we can have a good relationship with Russia and if Russia would help us get rid of ISIS, frankly, as far as I'm concerned, you're talking about tremendous amounts of money and lives and everything else, that would be a positive thing, not a negative thing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if that means conditioning our commitments to NATO, as you said?
TRUMP: No, because you're not going to do that. NATO is going to be just fine. But NATO countries -- we have 28 countries -- many of them are taking advantage of us because they're not paying. So we're protecting these countries and they're not paying.
And when people leave that last part in, everybody agrees with me.
I'm all in favor of NATO. I said NATO is obsolete. I was asked a question by one of your competitors and I said NATO is obsolete, because it's not taking care of terror. You understand that. And it turned out I was right. A lot of people gave me credit for that.
Then, three months ago, on the front page of "The Wall Street Journal," they said NATO to develop a terror division. And somebody who's supposed to be very extraordinary was put in charge of it.
That was all because of me. So I was right about that.
I was also right about the fact that NATO, we're being taken advantage of by NATO countries, totally advantage of (INAUDIBLE)...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Then why did you soften the GOP platform on Ukraine?
TRUMP: I wasn't involved in that. Honestly, I was not involved.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your people were.
TRUMP: Yes. I was not involved in that. I'd like to -- I'd have to take a look at it. But I was not involved in that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you know what they did?
TRUMP: They softened it, I heard, but I was not involved.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They took away the part of the platform calling for the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine to defend themselves.
Why is that a good idea?
TRUMP: Well, look, you know, I have my own ideas. He's not going into Ukraine, OK?
Just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right?
You can mark it down and you can put it down, you can take it anywhere you want.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he's already there, isn't he?
TRUMP: OK, well, he's there in a certain way, but I'm not there yet. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama, with all the strength that you're talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this, in the meantime, he's going where -- he takes -- takes Crimea, he's sort of -- I mean...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you said you might recognize that.
TRUMP: I'm going to take a look at it. But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.
Now, that was under -- just so you understand, that was done under Obama's administration. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned, it's a mess. And that's under the Obama's administration, with his strong ties to NATO.
So with all of these strong ties to NATO, Ukraine is a mess. Crimea has been taken. Don't blame Donald Trump for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You said that...
TRUMP: And we'll do better and yet we'll have a better relationship with Russia.
And having a good relationship -- maybe. and having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.
Yes, it would be good to have a better relationship with Russia. I doubt anyone disagrees with the most anodyne statement in the world. But the chances of Trump being the one to bring that about (at least in any way that makes sense for a democratic nation) is one in a trillion. He is ignorant and incapable and is far more likely to cause nuclear war. His platitudes about how much Vladimir Putin "likes" him as being the reason why he will bring world peace is idiotic.
digby 7/31/2016 11:00:00 AM