Two Big Reasons Trump Will Bounce Back From The Putin Mishap

If President Trump had simply, publicly stated in Finland, “I pressed Putin on it. The election meddling happened under my predecessor’s watch and no votes were changed. If it happens in the future, there will be a price to pay,” the entire Helsinki kerfuffle could have been avoided, regardless of what was said by the two world leaders behind closed doors. It was certainly a missed opportunity for Trump, and as such, he has had to clarify his position on multiple occasions since the ill-fated press conference.

In spite of all the current furor, Trump will ultimately rebound, as he always does, from this misstep for two reasons.

First, when he makes a political miscalculation, you can usually count on his opponents becoming so unhinged and blinded by their hatred for the president that the White House is able to flip the script so that the bullseye is no longer on Trump’s back, but affixed squarely on his detractors.

This time is no different. Within 96 hours of Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, John Brennan, a former Obama-era CIA director, labeled the president’s actions as “nothing short of treasonous;” Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., seemed to promote a military coup to remove Trump from office; and former Watergate prosecutor and Carter aide Jill Wine-Banks compared the president’s comments to the Sept. 11 attacks, Pearl Harbor, and Kristallnacht. You can’t make this stuff up. These hyperbolic responses make Trump’s initial statements seem almost quaint by comparison. Further, the folks uttering these words are well-known public figures, not exactly your run-of-the-mill loons from the darkest corners of the Internet.

Second, luckily for Trump, there is a difference between words and actions. Action-wise, Trump has been tougher on Russia than former President Barack Obama or even perhaps former President George W. Bush. From the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats following the poisoning in Britain, to the countless sanctions levied on Russia, to the sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, to increased U.S. oil production, to calls for more NATO defense spending, Trump has been extremely tough on Russia. To say otherwise just isn’t true.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at the Washington Examiner

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