Are. You. Kidding. Me.
The dismissiveness is dripping in Trump’s comment. You want me to say the little thing to the nice man? I’ll say it. You happy now? (Pats collective media on head).
He wants the media — and everyone watching — to know that he’s just going through the motions, that he doesn’t really believe that he needs to tell Putin not to involved Russia in future elections. He’s checking a box, in the most sarcastic way possible.
Here’s why all of this is so appalling (if you don’t already know): The United States intelligence community and the nearly two-year long Mueller investigation both affirmed this basic fact: Russia actively, aggressively and systematically sought to meddle in the 2016 election in order to help Trump and hurt Clinton. They took these actions because they believed Trump would be better for their interests than Clinton would be. They view the 2016 operations as a giant success and are extremely likely to pursue more attempts at interference in the 2020 election.
These are facts — affirmed by virtually every person in a position to know within the national security and intelligence communities.
The problem? Trump has never really believed them — and has made that fact abundantly clear to anyone listening.
Remember Trump’s statement regarding Russian election interference following his Helsinki summit with Putin in July 2018?
In other words: This is a feature, not a glitch of how Trump views Russia, Putin and the interference in the 2016 election.
None of this is normal. And all of it has real geopolitical implications that will extend well beyond Trump’s time in office — whether that’s four or eight years.
To mock the idea of telling a foreign power who has already sought to meddle in our election not to do it again is the height of irresponsibility by Trump. It also amounts to basically an open invitation for Russia to do it again.