Trump performance embarrassment to U.S.

Monday, July 23, 2018 9:20 AM

Our Dear Leader and Russia's Dear Leader met in Finland on Monday. They met for two hours in private with only translators in the room, even though Donald Trump apparently was warned by advisers to have other people there. But for Trump, the self-described genius, that would imply that he couldn't manage Putin on his own.

Putin is a master manipulator. I expect he knows all of Trump's emotional buttons and which ones to push to get what he wants. He likely understands that Trump sees himself as the master manipulator and played on that.

Unless the room was bugged or someone was wearing a wire, only Trump, Putin, and the translators know what actually happened in this meeting. So I can speculate.

If I was Putin, I'd start by pumping up Trump's overblown but very fragile ego. Tell him what a wonderful job he's doing, how it's so refreshing to have an American president who is really on top of things.

Then I'd shift to pumping up Trump's already well-developed sense of grievance. I'd commiserate with Trump about how many people, such as in Europe, Canada and the U.S. (including our intelligence/security agencies and that evil FBI), are trying to undercut him and make him look bad. I'd reassure Trump that I understand how tough it is with everyone conspiring against him.

After the grooming, I'd start planting ideas in Trump's head, things that will increase dysfunction in the U.S. and turn us against each other and everyone else. Worked like a charm, if Trump's pathetic showing in the press conference that followed is any indication.

Carole McWilliams