Trump and Putin shaking hands
Credit: Shealah Craighead/Flickr

The president is fortunate that few people will be thinking about his craven and traitorous performance in Helsinki when they go to the polls, and I don’t think the Mueller investigation will be weighing too heavily on their minds, either. That’s a shame.

But I’m not surprised the president suddenly wants to talk about anything other than his connections to Russia or the many former employees of his who are now cooperating witnesses. Still, he seems to require a meeting with Vladimir Putin from time to time in exactly the same way an informant occasionally needs to meet with his intelligence officer.

As soon as the midterm elections are over, the Mueller team will begin unveiling much of what they have uncovered in the previous two months after turning Paul Manafort, and that means Putin and Trump need to be of one mind.

It wouldn’t be prudent to meet before the people vote, but it would be reckless to wait until after they need to respond to the new revelations.

So, this was as predictable as the sun rising in the East.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to meet in Paris, days after November’s midterm elections.

Bolton, following a one-on-one meeting with Putin in Moscow, confirmed that the Russian president suggested the leaders meet to continue discussions between the two, adding that they agreed to the date of Nov. 11 in Paris, which coincides with the Armistice Day commemoration.

“I said yes, in fact, that President Trump would look forward to meeting with him in Paris,” Bolton, who has been in Moscow for two days of high-level talks, told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

Trump will get his instructions, just as he did in their private meetings in Germany, Vietnam, and Finland.

In Germany, they colluded on the so-called Russian adoptions story in anticipation of the Trump Tower story breaking. In Vietnam, Trump announced that Putin was innocent because he had convincingly denied his involvement. In Finland, Trump took Putin’s side against his own intelligence community.  In Paris, they will have new talking points and a new strategy to deal with the forthcoming Mueller report.

This time, hopefully, an incoming Democratic Congress can probe this nakedly conspiratorial relationship so that it doesn’t fall down the memory hole of the American people like the previous examples did.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at