Putin Just Set Up Trump To Be Humiliated by the Most Loathed Man in the World


“So what do you think I should do about North Korea?” he asked Putin in their November 2017 telephone call, according to U.S. officials. Some of those officials saw the request for advice as naive — a sign that Trump believes the two countries are partners in the effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Other officials described Trump’s query as a savvy effort to flatter and win over the Russian leader, whose country borders North Korea and has long been involved in diplomacy over its nuclear program.


36 replies
  1. Trip says:

    @Marcy, yep. And that twitter account that you retweeted where Russian State TV called the GOP visiting on the 4th their stooges (paraphrased); weak. And how they said that Trump doesn’t think he’ll get caught in the investigation, how he thinks it will end with Manafort. They are making him look (even more) like a Buffoon and Putin’s lapdog bitch.

  2. Bob Conyers says:

    I get why the Post had anonymous sources for so many negative comments, but why did the Post grant anonymity for the “savvy effort to flatter and win over the Russian leader” bit?

    They may as well grant anonymity to people for saying “Trump is an amazingly healthy man, brimming with great ideas, and so handsome, too. His only fault is that he’s so incredible that other people feel like they’re not as good as him, which to be honest, they’re not.”

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    For Trump, everything is personal, he can win anybody over to his side, because he’s the greatest.  He might as well wear a sign on his back that says, “Kick me!” or something that ends in the same two letters.

    I noticed something similar, but far less extreme, in bidness people attempting their first major international assignments.  High flyers at home, they assumed the same skills, knowledge, and assumptions would work anywhere.  They didn’t need to adjust, learn new things, or rethink their assumptions.  They just needed to do what they always did.

    Their assumptions were incorrect.  They failed to do what they would have done instinctively at home: check out the competition.  Confronting their ignorance, credulousness and a need to be liked often overtook their competence and competitiveness.

    Their competitors were often more talented and harder working, and had survived much more severe competition than their American counterparts ever dreamt of.  They had contended with more difficult governments, violent organized crime, harsher competitors, and often had far more on the line than a bonus, raise or promotion.  Not to mention that they were operating in different or multiple languages, different cultures, different legal, government-business and labor arrangements.

    It was a pleasure to work with the few whose learning curves were not flat or negative.  Their projects were often successful.

  4. Frank Probst says:

    Speaking of Manafort:


    @bmaz, what’s the logic here? I get the part about moving the trial to Roanoke, but not the part about delaying the trial. I’m guessing you can’t do one without doing the other, and the only reason I can really so for doing this is that he’s stuck in jail even if he wins the Virginia trial, so he may as well ask to have it moved to a location where his lawyers are basically saying that the jury pool is more likely to be biased in favor of Manafort. It just seems weird that he’s asking for this now, as opposed to earlier in the whole process. The government pointed out on Thursday that he’d made no complaints about being able to communicate with his defense team prior to Thursday’s get-out-of-jail request. Is this another Hail Mary? Maybe if the Virginia trial gets moved, that will increase his chances of getting the DC trial moved, too? From a non-lawyer’s perspective, this looks pretty desperate. I would’ve understood it if they’d asked for it the first time they walked into Ellis’ courtroom, but they didn’t, and now they’ve used a bunch of his time and resources. I don’t see him being very happy about a change-of-venue request.

    • bmaz says:

      Eh, they are hail mary’s. And especially the change of venue doesn’t stand a chance in hell of being granted. He may, however, get transferred to a jail closer to DC for ease of lawyer access. He won’t like that either though, the DC Metro jail is extremely nasty.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It is desperate and it is about obfuscation and delay.  It is not well-founded.

      I don’t think the issue is about getting Paulie out of jail.  I think the issue is to keep Paulie out of any court room.  His lawyers do want to know what Mueller’s got, to help themselves and Trump, and to persuade Trump that the only way to keep Trump from harm is to pardon Manafort.

      The Don does not normally think too far ahead.  He’s unlikely to bother with Manafort until he’s about to step into court.  Delaying that buys time, but it doesn’t likely buy what Paulie most wants.  He’s like a guy walking the plank in a sea full of sharks.  He knows where it leads.  All he can do is ask for a longer plank.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I disagree with the WaPo’s perspective that this is about lack of information or an unwillingness to do the necessary homework.

    The issue is not Trump’s lack of information.  It is not his inexperience.  It is his mindset, his determination that he need not do those things, driven, no doubt, by his accurate conviction that he can’t do those things and would fail if he did.

    The problem is who Donald Trump is.  He is still running a family business.  This one is just a little bigger than the other one he’s also still running.  Only he counts, his word is all that matters, which gets us back to that “Kick Me!” sign.

    No amount of information, no number of repeat visits with Putin or May or Kim will cure Donald Trump’s problem and those he makes for everyone around him.  It is time for him to be forced from office, before he takes us all with him.

    • Anyoung Haseyo says:

      I agree, the singapore “summit” went the only way it could have because trump is an empty poser, its beyond his ability to do anything beyond self-promotion and gas-lighting.

      The US press coverage on the topic of the koreas has been lacking.  Its got way too much centering on trump.  Most of the reporting on KJU’s actions are premised on him having lied to or otherwise tricked trump.  But that’s not the case, the DPRK has been pretty consistent, its just that trump has lied to *us.*

      If we take him and his publicity stunts out of the equation, the process looks a lot more like what a reasonable (slow) peace process would look like given the circumstances.  Pay attention to what the south koreans are doing – they seem pretty happy with the progress they are making with the north.  President Moon’s approval rating is in the mid-70s as of last week (whereas, last I checked, both trump and KJU were equally bad in the south at about 30%).  FWIW, the thing that has convinced me the most about KJU’s intentions is the way they’ve practically ended all anti-US propaganda in country.  From media broadcasts to billboards and posters, its all gone.  Even this statement about the meeting being “regrettable” is maximum low-key given the crazy levels of hyperbole we are used to hearing from the DPRK.

      Fundamentally, the best thing trump can do is to make the DPRK a non-issue as far as he is concerned.   He needs to stay out of Moon’s way and (I can’t believe I’m saying this about the CIA but since State is gutted there is no one else) let Pompeo keep plugging away without having to worry about the headlines.

      • Trip says:

        He can’t help himself. He’s the one that escalated the rhetoric of war in the first place. Cooler heads prevailed. But he will continue to lie about the progress. I’m not sure denuclearization is actually on the menu for Jong-un. With what the US is doing to Iran, you can’t really fault that decision. They have stopped testing. But do they even need to test further? It looks like they’ve met success.

  6. seedeevee says:

    Does anyone outside of Korea, Japan and the entirely misinformed American public even know who Kim Jong-un is?

    I am pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg is the most loathed man in the World.

    • bmaz says:

      You are consistently so full of fucking shit, your eyes are shit brown. Get lost worthless perpetual troll.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Close call.  One preserves his country, while mistreating his countrymen (like any good potentate), by maintaining a nuclear deterrent.  It’s regarded as the only thing capable of keeping a mega-power at bay. So far, it’s worked.  The Trump regime was especially easy to snow.

    The other wants to accumulate and commercialize every scrap of data his unaware customers shower upon him, and all that he can take while assuring them he’s doing no such thing.  The plum in the pudding is his facial recognition software, which the most unseemly governments will snap up to keep tabs on their potentially unruly subjects.

  8. Oldoilfieldhand says:

    Since Putin believes in exerting pressure when and where most effective, will he hamstring Trump publicly prior to the Helsinki summit to ensure that Trump knows Putin is holding all the cards? He could humiliate Trump by ………

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    David Cay Johnston will love this one.  The Palm Beach Post and ThinkProgress report that micro-manager Donald Trump has been using his charitable foundation – the one NY state’s AG is suing for tax fraud – as a marketing arm for Mar-a-Lago.

    Mar-a-Lago is the Don’s favorite place to spend executive time.  He can bill the taxpayer for all the exorbitant costs of his and his huge security detail’s stay, plus everything his official visitors and their security details spend.  Then there’s the extra spending from club members and guests who want to be a little closer to the Don and whisper into his ear about their favorite tax dodge.

    Trump’s so-called charitable foundation apparently is willing to make a donation to other charities – on the condition and in exchange for their holding their shindigs – fundraisers and annual gatherings – at Mar-a-Lago.

    Formally, that means one 501(c)(3) charity is making a gift to another.  It would look OK on federal and state tax returns, unless you looked at the detail.  The conditionality of the grant is itself a basic problem.

    The other problem is that the foundation is not spending money to further the charitable purposes of these other charities.  It is using its charitable funds to pay rebates for spending money at an affiliated company’s for-profit business.

    The Trump Foundation is paying a marketing expense for sister company, for-profit Mar-a-Lago: $706,000 worth in Palm Beach County, FL, since 2008.  (That’s the year Trump stopped contributing his own money to the foundation, which is unusual for a family-owned charity.)

    That’s a big no no.  It that’s not already a part of the NY state AG’s suit against the Trump Foundation, it will be.  A competent director of the IRS would be a tad miffed, too.  And a less compromised governor or state tax authority would have requested the NY AG to file a criminal complaint against the Trump Foundation.  Politics, I guess.

    • Trip says:

      I wonder how much of the same occurs at his Bedminster Golf Course where he spends the Summer?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Tax and accounting are always great for their knock-on effects.  Think Al Capone.

      Mar-a-Lago received an in-kind benefit from the Trump Foundation’s payments to other charities, in exchange for their holding events there.  That’s income.  It should have accounted for and reflected it in its tax returns.  Odds are it did not do that for the past ten years.  That’s a pattern of wrongdoing.  The IRS and the Florida tax authority would have jurisdiction over it.

      The Trump Foundation misused charitable funds.  That’s a state charities law violation, and related federal and state tax violations for each year. The feds and NY have jurisdiction over that.

      The pattern of wrongdoing presents another problem.  The repeated transactions make it easier to infer knowledge, making failure to stop or properly account for it intentional, which may flip a civil wrong into a crime, while establishing the intent to commit that crime.  There are possible mail and wire fraud issues.

      The Trumps ran the Foundation.  Its failures are theirs.  Moreover, they failed to maintain the slightest corporate formality for the Foundation over a ten-year period.  That means, in effect, there is no “Foundation.”  Its actions are the personal actions of those running it, Donald Trump and his children.  Civil and criminal penalties would apply to them, not the Foundation.

      • bmaz says:

        I don’t know squat about foundation law, but cannot see how that isn’t right. If a corporation is a sham, the corporate veil gets pierced.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Eleemosynary law.  Big score in Scrabble.  In my experience, it was a draw for trust fund babies and their family stewards taking care of the family business.  But the basic accounting and tax issues are straightforward.  The NY AG’s suit against the Trumps and their foundation lays it out pretty well.

          The Trump’s blithe dismissal of basic corporate formalities over a ten-year period is mind boggling.  They supposedly run, with a few hired hands, a fiercely tax aggressive family enterprise involving 500 odd businesses in jurisdictions around the world.  If those failures are systemic, the tax consequences could be startlingly personal.  Collapsing a single charitable foundation would be the tip of the iceberg.

    • lefty665 says:

      Yeah…. There’s no doubt Trump screwed up with his foundation. They also have cleaned up the mess they made through restitution and filings. With 501c-3s that is the remedy commonly sought. After fixing their screw ups they tried to shut down the foundation but could not because of the New York AG’s activities.

      Your present tense references are long past, corrected and not ongoing. There’s lots of good things to go after Trump on, this ain’t one of them.

        • lefty665 says:

          Actually it is pretty close. You and I were in the same pew on this before the election when it flared the first time.  No doubt Trump was using his foundation for his own convenience and that is not a charitable purpose as far as the mission of a 501c-3 is concerned. Also no doubt his folks cleaned up the mess or that they tried to close the foundation after they cleaned it up.  Aside from repayments and filing required forms the foundation has been inactive.

          Go after Trump on big stuff, this is chicken shit.

  10. Trip says:

    Trump hates women and children. This story is unbelievable, tweeted by bmaz:

    U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials

    Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes….“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health,” she said.
    In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.


    They are acting like the Formula Syndicate, FFS, strong-arming countries into buying it. I guess the sleaziness of Pruitt (and his departure) wasn’t enough, they had to take it up a notch. Or is this Trump’s plan and method to make Putin look like the sane world-leader next to a dumbfuck USA?


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Nestle’s lobbyists, no doubt, made the rounds.

      The debate about the high quality and irreplaceability of breast milk in the Third World, and in most everywhere else, is long over.  Breast milk won.  But with the Don, everything is for sale if you come to Mar-a-Lago.,

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Times Andrew Jacobs, in the article you cite, felt compelled to insert this bothsiderism into his article:

      “Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington’s strong-arm tactics. The $70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of American and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding.” (Emphasis added.)

      Adding that disclaimer was gratuitous, unless Jacobs was prepared to explain how top-tier lobbyists for a $70 billion industry do not leave a handy trail of bread crumbs that any Hansel or Gretel could follow.

      Of course “health advocates” did not see “direct evidence” of lobbyists for Nestle and/or others persuading the US to take this stand.  They’re lobbyists, they invented plausible deniability.  Besides, no WHO health advocate would admit to having direct evidence out of fear of being blackmailed by the same actors.

      It would be unseemly for lobbyists and for US representatives to reveal how they make their sausage.  But the US had no reason to blackmail some of the most vulnerable countries on earth – over an important public health issue – except to pursue an issue of importance to this industry.

      Having made a first class asshole of itself with every country in the WHO, the US had no reason to backtrack because Vlad said, “Boo.”  If anything, it was an embarrassing set-up.  It proved again how unreliable the United States is under Donald J. Trump, and how beholden he is to Vladimir Putin.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Nestle, a Swiss conglomerate, is a major global player in marketing breast milk substitutes, using sales tactics in the Third World similar to those used by the tobacco industry.  Once a mother uses their product more than a few times, her own milk dries up and she’s stuck with having to buy substitutes for over a year. 

      Tough to do in a subsistence economy. It often leads to over-watering the dry formula, in an effort to make the expensive powder last longer. That contributes to malnutrition at an age where it has lifelong consequences. Then there’s the dangerous problem that potable water is often hard to come by. Using contaminated water leads to early illness, when the bay or child has the fewest resources to fight it.

      The major US conglomerate is Abbott Laboratories.  Similar comments apply.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump contends on twitter that women need access to expensive breast milk substitute “infant formula” powders because they are poor and malnourished.

        Would that President Scarecrow had a brain.  Perhaps he should visit the great and powerful wizard in Moscow and ask for one.  A more accurate portrayal is this.

        Women who are well-nourished enough to breast feed provide their children the perfect source of nutrition, plus a potent source of disease resistance.

        Many women do live in poverty, here and abroad, which means they haven’t a spare penny to buy expensive breast milk substitutes sold by conglomerates like Nestle or Abbott Labs on monopoly terms.

        Once they try a substitute and their breast milk dries up, they have no alternative but to use scarce cash to buy it.  What happens then is a circle of disease.

        Already being poor, they dilute substitute powder to make it go further.  That leads to malnutrition, poor development with lifelong consequences, and bodies too weak to fight infection.  Its use also places heavy demands on hard to find potable water.  Not being able to turn on a tap (like living in Flint), they have to find clean water, find and pay for fuel, boil the water long enough, mix it in clean containers, and feed their children using clean and scarce bottles and nipples.

        Anywhere along the way, would be potable water can become non-potable: dirty water source, no cleaners or insufficient cleaning, contamination, reusing bottles and nipples without sufficient cleaning.  That or simply using non-potable water adds to the disease load and death toll.

        It is not news that Donald Trump is profoundly ignorant and proud of it.  His ignorance over a longstanding breast milk substitute controversy is an example.  His treatment of border crossers is another.

        What is new is that in his current job, that ignorance can kill and injure countless people.  It’s not a job he should hold for long.

    • Sabrina says:

      You might be on to something regarding making Russia look like the common sense nation next to the US. I know that my jaw dropped when I read that not only did the US agree only after Russians agreed to the measure, but that there was a statement made afterwards by a Russian official which went something like “we can’t let bigger countries bully smaller ones without stepping in” (paraphrasing). The cooler heads that are bringing order to the wayward US is- Russia? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if that was some kind of negotiated PR stunt. Refusing to back a public-health campaign which has proven lifelong benefits for the infant and reinforces bonding between mother and child- it’s almost cartoonishly evil to veto that.

      The US doesn’t have a perfect human rights record- it has been involved in a number of problematic tactics with smaller countries over the years, some of which I am vaguely aware of and others that I’m sure I have no idea even occurred. However, the active strong-arming of the “opponents” (and that they’re looking at countries like Ecuador as an opponent is a problem in itself), tactics to delay meetings, smaller countries afraid to speak up or challenge the US for fear of reprisal- this isn’t what the US has traditionally stood for on the world stage. The thought that the Russian government are playing the role of stewardship with respect to the US “bullying” a smaller country on the world stage. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that Russia has adopted this peacemaking role with respect to a breastfeeding campaign, or that idea that, factually, the Russian delegate’s comment about the US pushing around a smaller country was pretty on the nose.

      The whole thing just seems odd, both for the US’ actions specifically and the emerging narrative in which Russia is the sensible rescuer of the deal.

  11. m says:

    Asking someone for advice in a situation like this and then not following it in the first place is an insult. It’s not done unless one’s asking for direction and/or one’s an idiot.
    Again: That Donald is a great dealmaker is a fiction, a lie he necessarily promotes. Because what is is a great grifter, a great con artist — a complete fraud.

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