This Is Not a Nothingburger

There are a lot of folks very invested in the narrative that the Russia investigations are a sideshow, that they're nothing but Democratic sour grapes to explain their electoral loss, that Donald Trump and his administration have no ties to Russia, that there's nothing to see here, blah blah blah.

Folks on both the right and the left have dismissed the investigations, and anyone who is concerned about Trump's possible collusion with Russia and/or his refusal to take the Russian threat seriously and/or his adoration of Vladimir Putin, as foolish, distractions, nothingburgers.

Well, have a big bite of this fucking nothingburger, pals:
Donald Trump has told White House aides to come up with possible concessions to offer as bargaining chips in his planned meeting next week with Vladimir Putin, according to two former officials familiar with the preparations.

National security council staff have been tasked with proposing "deliverables" for the first Trump-Putin encounter, including the return of two diplomatic compounds Russians were ordered to vacate by the Obama administration in response to Moscow's interference in the 2016 election, the former officials said. It is not clear what Putin would be asked to give in return.
Oh, I think it's pretty clear what Putin would be asked to give in return.

Remember the story about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with Trump in March? "Merkel brought a 1980s map of the former Soviet Union and noted the way its borders stretched for hundreds of miles to the west of Russia's current boundary, according to a source who was briefed on the meeting. The German leader's point was that Putin laments the Soviet Union's demise and, left unchecked, would happily restore its former borders. Merkel left Washington unconvinced that Trump had gotten the message, the source said."

Well, in the Guardian piece linked above, there's this story: "When [UK Prime Minister] Theresa May visited the White House a week after Trump's inauguration, one of her priorities was to dissuade the new president from relaxing sanctions imposed on Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea and covert military intervention in eastern Ukraine. 'The Brits did push for that, but it's hard to say how much difference their intervention made,' said a former official, who was working at the state department at the time."

So, two female leaders have both tried to convince Trump not to go easy on Russia and make nice with Putin, and, in both cases, it's "unclear" whether Trump got the message.

In other words, he didn't.

You know, one of the problems with choosing a rank misogynist to run your country is that he won't listen to women. Even when they're telling him things he desperately needs to hear.

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