3 May 2019   Leave a comment

US President Trump had an hour-long telephone conversation with Russian President Putin. Trump reported that Putin told him that Russia did not want to get “involved” in Venezuela and that he and Putin had the same views on events in Venezuela.

“‘He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela,’ Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, following a call with the Russian leader earlier in the day. ‘And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid — right now people are starving, they have no water, they have no food.’”

Trump’s assessment differs profoundly from the views expressed yesterday by his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and his National Security Adviser, John Bolton. Both those officials had strong views that both Russia and Cuba are actively propping up the regime of Nicolas Maduro. Additionally, Mr. Trump said that he had spoken “briefly” about the “hoax” that there was collusion with Russia during the 2016 US election. When asked by a reporter about the issue, Mr. Trump said that he found the question “very rude”. David Graham recounts the exchange with reporters today in the Oval Office:

“In brief remarks during a visit with the Slovakian prime minister, reporters asked Trump about the call. Had he discussed Russian meddling with Putin?

Trump: He sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse. But he knew that, because you knew there was no collusion whatsoever. So that is pretty much what it was—

Reporter: Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?

Trump: Excuse me. I’m talking. I’m answering this question. You are very rude. So we had a good conversation about many different things. Okay.

Reporter: Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?

Trump: We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it. We discussed five or six things.

How anyone could regard Mr. Trump’s behavior as anything less than irresponsible is beyond me.

Cyclone Fani hit eastern India today and more than a million people had to be evacuated. Fani is the strongest storm to affect India in the last 20 years and early reports suggest widespread damage. The storm is tracking toward Bangladesh. It will likely take several days for the damage from the storm to be fully assessed.

Cyclone Fani

Posted May 3, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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