President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for two hours face-to-face today in Helsinki, Finland. Trump said their initial meeting was "a very good start" to the summit. During a joint press conference, the president said he raised Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections with Putin.
It will be days before we know all the details. But I want to counter the media narrative that Trump is somehow weak on Russia.
For example, Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted that Trump cancel the meeting with Putin. One CNN host said that Trump "simply cannot be trusted" to talk alone with Russia's leader.
Where were these Cold Warriors when Barack Obama was caught on an open mic promising to show Putin more flexibility after his 2012 reelection?
Unlike Obama, Trump is sending anti-tank missiles -- serious military aid -- to help Ukraine thwart Russia's aggression.
Under Trump, NATO forces conducted military exercises near Russia's border with Poland and the Baltic nations.
Trump has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia. (Here, here and here.)
When Russian-led mercenaries approached U.S. positions in Syria, Trump authorized our forces to defend themselves. Dozens, if not hundreds, of Russian mercenaries were killed.
While Obama hobbled the American energy industry, Trump unleashed American energy production, undercutting one of Russia's main sources of income.
After years of declining defense spending under Obama, Trump just pushed through a big increase for our national defense.
And he got commitments from NATO nations to boost their own military spending to counter Russia's aggression.
The War Party?
The anti-Trump left became unhinged (yet again) after the president's press conference with Putin, especially for his "deflection" on questions of alleged hacking of the 2016 elections.
Nancy Pelosi suggested that Putin "has something on" Trump. CNN's Anderson Cooper called Trump's press conference remarks "disgraceful." Obama CIA Director John Brennan tweeted that Trump's remarks were "nothing short of treasonous" and amounted to an impeachable offense.
The political left was giddy as Obama negotiated a nuclear deal with the Holocaust-denying regime of Iran as its agents were killing U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama didn't want Congress to vote on it, and parts of the deal were kept secret from Congress. He flew pallets of cash to Iran in the middle of the night. He refused to prosecute Hezbollah for drug trafficking.
Maybe we should be asking what Iran has on Obama!
But liberals don't want Donald Trump talking to Russia. And when he insists on talking to Russia, the number one thing that the left demands is that Putin turn over a dozen Russian intelligence officers who hacked Democrat organizations in 2016.
There is no chance of that happening. Neither would we hand over a dozen CIA agents whose job is to make life difficult for Russia. That said, Putin invited Special Counsel Robert Mueller to continue his investigation in Russia.
But what exactly is it that these progressives want Trump to do in order to get tough on Russia? Are they suggesting that he threaten a nuclear strike? Do they want him to shoot down Russian planes?
And why didn't Obama do anything about the Russian hacking? (Here and here.)
I don't hear any real suggestions at all, just constant carping against a president who wants to make America great again.
Hillary Invokes Slavery
Speaking to one of the big left-wing teachers' unions Friday, Hillary Clinton attacked Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a "threat of devastating consequences for workers' rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, women's rights."
Hillary added, "You know, I used to worry that they wanted to turn the clock back to the 1950s, now I worry they want to turn it back to the 1850s."
The most historically significant point about the 1850s is that slavery was still legal. At a time when there are serious racial tensions in America, Clinton's comment is reckless and beyond the pale.
Sadly, this is not the first time the left has engaged in this kind of disgusting hyperbole. In 2012, Joe Biden suggested Mitt Romney wanted to put black Americans "back in chains." In 2008, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) compared Sen. John McCain to segregationist George Wallace.
In 2000, political ads were run linking George W. Bush to the death of James Byrd, Jr., a black man who "was beaten, chained and then dragged behind a pickup truck [for] three miles."
Black leaders and civil rights groups should speak up now and condemn Clinton's suggestion that a mainstream conservative judge would support enslaving black Americans.
Please stand with American Values as we work to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page returned to Capitol Hill today for a second day of testimony behind closed doors. Commenting on her testimony Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, "We did not see the smug attitude from Lisa Page that we saw from Peter Strzok."
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said that Page was "very credible," adding, "We've certainly learned additional things today. She's doing her best to help us find the truth and I think in ways she's been falsely accused of not being willing to cooperate."
Page's cooperation is encouraging, especially if it yields any significant breakthroughs in the investigation. We will keep you posted.