Trump Meets Putin, Mile High Brawl
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Vol. 6, No.171
Foreign Affairs: President Trump in a private meeting yesterday spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about hacking the US election and Putin denied it, according to the administration. How hard Trump pushed it, we don’t know.
In a briefing in which cameras were not allowed, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “Putin denied such involvement as I think he has in the past” and said the two agreed to get past what has become a “hindrance” in relations between the two countries. “The president’s rightly focused on, ‘How do we move forward from what may be simply an intractable disagreement at this point?’” Tillerson told reporters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put a slightly different spin on it, saying Putin asked for proof of the American claim and that Trump accepted Putin’s denial. “President Trump said that he heard the clear statements of President Putin that this is not true, and that the Russian leadership did not interfere in these elections, and that he accepts these statements.”
Trump greeted Putin saying, “It’s an honor to be with you,” a curious thing to say to a man who took over another country, interfered with the US election, and backs up the murderous regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
The Trump/Putin meeting took place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Tillerson said the two leaders also reached an agreement for a limited ceasefire in southwest Syria. Ceasefires so far have not lasted long in Syria’s civil war.
Foreign Relations: Discussions at the G-20 summit yesterday revealed signs that other countries are talking about realigning themselves in the shadow of the US led by Donald Trump. They are dismayed over Trump’s pulling out of the Paris climate accord and ripping up trade agreements. Michael Birnbaum and Damian Paletta report for The Washington Post that, “Trump is deeply unpopular in Europe, and politicians here can get a boost when they emphasize their differences.”
Cheap Tweets: With the affairs of the world on his hands, Trump took the time to tweetsnipe former Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”
Aside from the likelihood that few leaders at the G-20 know or care who Podesta is, Podesta did not work for the DNC and had no control over its computers.
Podesta, who heard about Trump’s tweet while driving through Kentucky, pointed out in The Washington Post that the CIA does not do domestic investigations and he has no idea what the FBI asked of the Democratic National Committee. He wrote, “God only knows what our president will be tweeting by the time my wife and I get to Utah.”
Nation: Police in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida have reversed themselves, now saying that tennis star Venus Williams was not at fault for a car accident that fatally injured a 78-year-old man. Security camera video shows Williams entering an intersection under a green light and getting t-boned by a car driven by Linda Barson, whose husband Jerome Barson, later died. The Barson family filed a wrongful death suit before the video was revealed.
Econ 101: With retail stores crimped by online shopping and car sales in a slump, the economy still added 222,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent. Despite the demand for more workers, the frustration is that wages remain stagnant.
Mile High: A brawl broke out Thursday night on a Delta flight from Seattle to Beijing when a man lunged for an exit door and a flight attendant called for help from passengers.
Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, of Tampa, Florida was charged with interfering with a flight crew, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In the course of the fracas, the flight attendant was punched in the face and broke a wine bottle over the man’s head. The in-flight menu said it was a “premium” wine.