Vladimir Putin
Credit: Remy Steinegger/Wikimedia Commons

If Donald Trump were smart, he’d be listening to his advisors. He’s not.

As President Donald Trump lashes out at former President Barack Obama for failing to take a harder line against Russia for election meddling, Trump’s own advisers are struggling to convince him that Russia still poses a threat, according to multiple senior administration officials…

But the Trump administration has taken no public steps to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. Multiple senior administration officials said there are few signs the President is devoting his time or attention to the ongoing election-related cyber threat from Russia.

But according to Julian Borger, he’s doing more than simply ignoring the cyber threat posed by Russia.

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.

Not only is Trump ignoring the cyber threat, he is considering the possibility of returning two diplomatic compounds to Putin—the very ones that Obama ordered vacated in response to Russia’s interference in the election.

Trying to follow any logic associated with Trump’s behavior is a fool’s errand. He just went on a Twitter tirade last week about how Obama did nothing in response to Russia’s behavior. Simultaneously, he was asking his national security staff to propose “deliverables” he could give to Putin, including the reversal of what Obama did in response to Russia’s behavior. This is precisely why I never assume that there is any method to the madness of his Twitter tirades. They are simply the rantings of someone with no impulse control.

The overall idea that this president is looking for deliverables to propose in his first meeting with Putin, while asking nothing in return, is remarkable. The two words that come to mind to describe it are (1) stupid and (2) guilty.

A competent strategist would find a way to at least appear neutral about Russia (if not a bit aggressive) in order to diminish the appearance of collusion. Trump isn’t even trying. That’s what makes him look guilty. During a time when we know that Russia mounted their most aggressive attempt to undermine our democracy, this president is considering giveaways to the guy who orchestrated it all. Why else would he do that unless Putin had something on him? I don’t know about you, but I can’t come up with any other justification.

If Trump set out to prove himself guilty, I can’t imagine how he could do a better job than this.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.