The scheduling for this year’s G-20 meeting could not have come at a better time for the new President of the United States, as Congress was in recess for the July Fourth holiday vacation. With no witnesses appearing at any of those pesky Congressional hearings, the President began the week insulting the United States intelligence community and our free press, while continuing to lose friends and make enemies among the leaders of the world. We regard This Week In Russiagate, Sitting Down with Putin, as the beginning of a time of strategic stroking.
Setting The Stage For The G-20 Meeting
The week began with the North Koreans firing off of their first ICBM, which is believed to have the capability of reaching Alaska. Previously, The Treasury Department, in response to the continued North Korean provocation, had announced sanctions against a Chinese shipping company and two individuals doing business with North Korea. The new administration escalated the situation further damaging relations with China, with the first ever arms deal with Taiwan in violation of the long standing US “one China” policy.
The 45th* President added to the poisoning of relations with China. He initiated a curt telephone conversation with his former good friend, Chinese President Xi Jinping, expressing his disappointment with China for failing to do the heavy lifting required to stop the North Korean provocation, by telling the Chinese President,
“That the United States is prepared to act on its own in pressuring the nuclear-armed government in Pyongyang.”
45th* then appeared to suggest cutting off trade with China, tweeting,
“Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!”
He also went full-blown teenager, bizarrely saying,
“Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”
Our Celebrity Commander In Chief eventually met with President Xi Jinping while at the G-20 conference and he, along with his incompetent staff, made the damage done going into the meeting even worse. In an official White House statement issued on the July 8, 2017, Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, was referred to as the President of “the Republic of China.” That happens to be the official name of Taiwan. Take gun, aim at foot, then fire.
The Arrival In Europe
The new American President arrived in Warsaw, Poland, and at a press conference refused to admit that Russia was solely responsible for the intervention into the 2016 United States elections. When asked about who was responsible for that meddling, he said,
45th* also took the opportunity during the Warsaw news conference to once again go on the attack against what he calls, “fake news”, singling out CNN.
The new American President then flew on to Hamburg, Germany, where he was greeted by days of escalating violent protests. Some protest organizers referred to the greeting for the the G-20 leaders as,
The White House staff was worried about the soon to come meeting with Putin as their boss,
“Faces a web of investigations into his campaign’s possible links to Russia, as well as questions about his willingness to take on Moscow for its military aggression and election meddling on his behalf. The air of uncertainty about the meeting is only heightened by the president’s propensity for unpredictable utterances and awkward optics.”
At a brief press photo opportunity just before the closed door meeting between the two presidents began, 45th* shook hands with President Putin and said,
Former CIA Director John Brennan was livid, reacted to the comment by the President saying,
“He said it’s an honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault on our election? To me, it’s a dishonorable thing to say.”
The fears from the White House staff were well founded. Then the historic meeting began, ushering in the age of strategic stroking.
Sitting Down With Putin, The Age of Strategic Stroking Begins
The historic first ever official meeting between Vladimir Putin and the American President lasted 136 minutes. The only people present were the two Presidents, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and a translator from each country.
The parties emerged from the meeting, announcing a Syrian ceasefire brokered with Israel and and Jordan with no mention of Syrian involvement. Strange that neither of those countries were represented at the G-20 summit. A unilateral ceasefire by the Syrian military halting operations in the southern part of Syria, was to expire on July 8, 2017. Apparently this new ceasefire is an extension taking effect on July 9, 2017, at noon, Damascus time. History shows that,
“Previous cease-fires in Syria have collapsed or failed to reduce violence for long, and it was unclear whether this deal would be any better.”
The ceasefire will not effect the parts of Syria in the north and east where the US is battling ISIS. According to Secretary of State Tillerson, many details of the ceasefire still need to be worked out. This sounds much like the appearance of a deal designed to give some sort of substance to the meeting with Putin, as the administration has walked away with virtually nothing to show for the United States. In particular, there was no statement from the Russians the they will stop further efforts to intervene in our elections and no warning issued by the administration to the Russians in this regard.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, spoke to the press on camera about the meeting between the Presidents, assuring the world that the American President accepted Putin’s word that Russia did not interfere in the American elections. Lavrov said,
“President Trump has said that he has heard clear declarations from Mr. Putin that Russian leadership and Russian government has not interfered in the elections.”
There has been no statement from the White House that either confirms or denies the claims by the Russians that the President,
Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, emerged from the meeting with Putin and speaking to the press off camera, said that the Russian President asked for the evidence in the hands of the American intelligence community. Tillerson also said, in regards to the allegations of Russian interference, that,
“What the two Presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward. How do we move forward from here, because it’s not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations.”
There were no notes taken, thus no transcript available, of the exact words exchanged during the meeting in Hamburg. Therefore, all we have is the official accounts provided by the four participants. So it is official, Robert Mueller and the Congressional Committees can now wrap up their work, as according to Secretary Tillerson, it is time to move on.
Just before our novice Commander In Chief departed Europe, two US bombers partnered with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets in a joint exercise flying close to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. How the North Koreans will respond to what they could very well consider a provocation is anyone’s guess.
The 45th* President of the United States left Germany to return to the United States, having given the impression among the majority of the G-20 leaders that the United States can no longer be counted upon on a variety of issues, such as the environment and trade.
“Top European leaders said they have little faith that an agreement forged today could hold tomorrow.”
The American President departed Germany without speaking to reporters. Russian President Putin was glad to meet the press to discuss his take on his meeting, saying that the American President
“Asked questions; I replied. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with the answers.”
This morning, the Twitterer In Chief unleashed yet another tweet storm that reiterated his previous strategy to blame President Obama for doing nothing about that which he remains skeptical of, and which his pal Vladimir says did not occur. The Twitterer tweeted,
“…have it. Fake News said 17 intel agencies when actually 4 (had to apologize). Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?”
Earlier in the morning he tweeted,
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion…..”
He followed that tweet with this,
“Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..”
There was also this tweet from the Twitterer In Chief, addressing any discussion with his pal Vlad on the numerous sanctions already in place against Russia,
“Sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with President Putin. Nothing will be done until the Ukrainian & Syrian problems are solved!”
That tweet contradicts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said following the meeting that sanctions were in fact discussed.
Does anyone really believe that this President, who denies that the Russian intervened in the 2016 elections, who has done absolutely nothing to sanction Russia, or to safeguard our nation from what the attacks that intelligence community agrees continues, would or should form a Cyber Security Unit with the attackers essentially placing the shark in the fish tank? Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio tweeted,
“Partnering with Putin on a “Cyber Security Unit” is akin to partnering with Assad on a “Chemical Weapons Unit”. 2/3”
It is also strains credulity to believe that the previous reports that the administration was considering reversing the existing sanctions are wrong or that finding ways to relax if not lift those sanctions was not broached during the 136 minute meeting, particularly in light of President Putin’s statements just before the meeting when he called the sanctions a covert form of protectionism. Putin also said that,
“Sanctions not only have no perspective, but they also contradict the G20 principles for interacting in the interests of all countries of the world.”
The G-20 conference closed with the President of the United States giving the cold shoulder to the other 19 leaders on climate change. The American President, who last month removed the United States from the Paris Accords, refused to sign an agreement confirming that the Paris Agreement was irreversible. He elicited this response from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel,
“Unfortunately — and I deplore this — the United States of America left the climate agreement.”
It should be noted that the Russian government was heavily dependent on oil and gas as the source of roughly half of their revenue before US sanctions were imposed as a consequence of Russian intervention in Crimea and the Ukraine. It should also be noted that Exxon Mobil, the fossil fuel giant formerly run by the now Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has a substantial interest now held up by those sanctions. The American President pushed a policy of the expanded use of fossil fuels at the G-20 summit, insisting on the statement that the United States,
“Will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources.”
Once again, the interests of the United States and the interests of Russia, appear to align.
The United States became even more isolated as the Japanese and the European Union announced a trade deal that will begin to stand in the place of the now history TPP. The general consensus coming out of the G20 summit was that the United States is no longer the leader of the free world and not a reliable partner should a crisis occur.
No criticism of the performance by the new American President at the G-20 conference was as cutting as it was accurate as that coming from Chris Uhlmann, the political editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Mr. Uhlmann said that the American President,
“Was an uneasy, lonely, awkward figure at this gathering.”
Congress was out of town for the July Fourth holiday recess and most Republican members were MIA when it came to public appearances, in order to avoid the fireworks from their constituents stemming from the continued Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Tomorrow they will return to Washington, D.C., and the Congressional Committees investigating Russiagate will be back in business. The real fireworks may soon begin following This Week In Russiagate, as the sit down with Putin has ended, while the era of strategic stroking moves forward.