Servile nods in response to whatever President Trump does or says are the usual course for Fox News shows, especially “Fox & Friends”, but a stark contrast to that usual course came today when one of the hosts of the show criticized Trump for blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia. Brian Kilmeade, who at first went along that usual route praising Trump for his tweets about the EU and NATO, took a sudden turn in regard to Trump’s tweet blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia, with Kilmeade saying “what I don’t understand is this tweet” and proceeding to list how it is inaccurate.
The tweet in question is this one from President Trump in which he writes, “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!”
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Before we delve into Kilmeade’s response to this tweet, let’s note some facts that make it clear Russia has created the problematic relationship, not the U.S. First there’s Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea, which is one of the things that led to sanctions being imposed against Russia – Trump somehow tries to explain that as irrelevant because it happened during the Obama administration, but that makes no sense whatsoever. Then there is Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, which the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Congress all have found to have occurred, and a dozen Russian intelligence officers were just indicted Friday for hacking toward the goal of helping Trump and hurting Clinton in that election. Trump downplays that meddling, at first refusing to impose sanctions Congress had passed by a landslide in response to that meddling, and also frequently using the “that happened during the Obama administration” excuse. Of course it happened during the Obama administration, since that’s when the election the Russian’s sought to influence happened, and the person they sought to benefit was Trump. It is the timing of it happening during the election cycle that matters. As if that weren’t enough, then there is the nerve agent attack on former Russian intelligence officer and double agent Sergei Skripal on British soil. The overwhelming consensus is that Russia was behind that attack, and it was only after that attack that Trump was finally willing to impose the sanctions passed by Congress over the election meddling, in addition to another layer of sanctions and diplomatic ejections in response to the poisoning.
So Kilmeade made a rare Fox News criticism of President Trump over his tweet blaming the U.S. for poor U.S.-Russia relations. According to The Hill:
“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade on Monday questioned why President Trump would send a tweet blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin…”But what I don’t understand is this tweet,” Kilmeade continued, referencing Trump’s tweet that said the United States’ relationship with Russia has never been worse “thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” “It’s really not our foolishness and stupidity. They might not like the things we’re doing — but would you really say foolishness and stupidity is a correct characterization?” Kilmeade asked…Kilmeade’s comment came as Trump sat with Putin in Helsinki for a high-stakes meeting that Trump said would be focused on trade, arms control and China. The meeting between the leaders came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for their role in hacking the Democratic National Committee.
President Trump continues to be oddly conciliatory both to and about Russian President Vladimir Putin, a dictator, while attacking the leaders of democracies allied with the United States. It is particularly odd that the President of the United States would verbally attack the United States in this way – Fox News even criticized Trump for that. Trump appears to have no loyalty except to himself, his business interests, and his family, in that order.