Russia’s defense ministry says it’s ready to act on the agreements

Oh but that’s not what he meant, he meant the opposite, he didn’t hear the question, he was answering a different question, he had a pain in his bum right at that second, he didn’t mean “no” the way you’re interpreting it, he said yes but you just didn’t listen, he left out some of the letters, he meant to say wouldn’t, he forgot his homework, the dog ate his shoes, the sun will come out tomorrow, is that a zebra?

President Trump appeared to say on Wednesday that Russia was no longer targeting the United States, contradicting his own intelligence chief just a day after promising that his administration was working to prevent Kremlin interference in the upcoming midterm elections.

Hours later, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Mr. Trump was answering a different question, and that “we believe the threat still exists.”

Certainly; he was answering a different question, that no one asked, that he made up in his head, that presumed the answer “no.” The question was…would you like the ceiling to collapse on your head right now? That’s the question he was answering. I don’t know why you’re all so suspicious.

What Coats has said:

“These actions are persistent, they are pervasive and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy,” Mr. Coats said in a speech on Friday.

And again on Monday: “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy,” Mr. Coats said.

But on Wednesday, when the president was asked whether Russia was “still targeting” the United States, Mr. Trump said: “No.”

But he thought the question was: “Do you have a dog?”

The president’s changing statements about Russia’s intentions toward the United States underscore his pattern of questioning his own intelligence agencies.

The word you’re looking for is undermining…or perhaps better, sabotaging. He has a pattern of sabotaging his own intelligence agencies.

Which, in a president, looks kind of treason-like.

Mr. Trump’s latest vacillation on Wednesday drew more outrage, including from his own party.

“I’m dumbfounded by the statement he does not believe that the Russians are still up to it,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on Wednesday. “We need to reconcile the difference between him and the intelligence community. I agree with the intelligence community. Tell me why I’m wrong, Mr. President.”

That and a nickel will get you a ride on the subway. Talk is cheap, Senator.

Mr. Graham said ignoring the threat posed by the Russians was “political malpractice” if the threat was real. “I believe it’s real,” he said.

Mr. Graham added, “If he is wrong, and the intelligence community is right and we get attacked because we didn’t prepare ourselves, that is a terrible legacy for him.”

It’s not great for us, either!

Though the details of the president’s meeting with Mr. Putin are not publicly known, Russia’s defense ministry announced that it was ready to put in motion the unspecified agreements Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin reached.

Oh, brilliant – we don’t know what they are and apparently have no way of forcing Trump to tell us what they are.

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