As the backlash swells over President Trump‘s subservient press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, conservative pundits defending Trump’s performance are proving to be hard to find.
Even the hosts of Trump’s favorite and most loyal Fox News show, Fox & Friends, weren’t doing their usual spin for him. Host Brian Kilmeade slammed a tweet from Trump that was fired off just before the Helsinki summit, where Trump blamed poor U.S.-Russia relations on past administrations.
“That’s by far the most ridiculous tweet of late, and that is insulting to past administrations,” Kilmeade said. “He can’t be saying that going into the Russian summit.”
Other conservative figures slammed the president’s presser with Putin, from Arizona GOP Senator Jeff Flake to conservative commentator and podcaster Ben Shapiro, both of whom characterized Trump’s performance as an embarrassment. In a tweet from this Monday, Shapiro called Trump’s comments while standing alongside Putin “utterly grotesque.
As far as Trump’s base goes, the jury is still out on how this will be received. But if history is any indication, Trump’s most loyal supporters will figure out a way to turn his subservience to Putin into an asset.
In a revealing moment during a CSPAN broadcast today, we get a good reminder of how strong the Trump cult of personality is.
In clip flagged on Twitter, CSPAN host John McArdle takes a call from a Connecticut woman identified as “Mary Lou” who thinks Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election was a great thing.
“I’ll try not to sound to awful, but I want to thank the Russians for interfering with our election to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president,” she said.
“That woman has got illusions of grandeur,” she continued. “And so has [Bill Clinton]. That man, the whole time he was in the White House he was just fooling around sexually with Monica Lewinsky. He is an accused rapist. He has never denied it and his wife has never done anything to stop him from doing that.”
McArdle then interjected:
“Mary Lou, let me ask you: Do you think Russian interference was the reason Trump won in 2016?”
“Yes, because the Russians interfered,” she replied. “I mean, what would we do with Hillary in that White House? That woman — she doesn’t know what she was doing. What a mess she made of Benghazi — what she did with those emails to put a server in her living room or wherever she put it.”
A C-SPAN caller just thanked Russia for "interfering in our elections" pic.twitter.com/wyIBSGc3S0
— jordan (@JordanUhl) July 16, 2018
Featured image via screen grab