Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told ABC's This Week that Trump handled the Putin meeting did at the G20 "brilliantly." Clearly, he knows the rules of being a Trump surrogate better than Nikki Haley.
In case you haven't figured it out already, here's the first four rules of any Trump cabinet member:
- Always be loyal to Trump. Don't expect him to reciprocate when it's inconvenient to him.
- Praise Trump, no matter what.
- Use terms like "brilliant, genius, master deal maker, super businessman," etc., when praising Trump.
- There's never a bad time to praise Trump.
See a pattern?
Steve Mnuchin fits the bill perfectly as a Trump surrogate.
It's of note that, "national security adviser H.R. McMaster and National Security Council Russia specialist Fiona Hill, who was a Putin critic before entering the Trump administration," were both excluded from the Putin meeting.
Mnuchin was also not present during the two hour plus meeting with Putin, so he has no idea what was actually said. Only Rex Tillerson and Sergey V. Lavrov, along with the two presidents were there.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked if new Russian sanctions would be implemented at all.
Mnuchin replied, "And as it relates to the meeting with Putin, let me be clear, what started out as a 30-minute meeting lasted over two hours. And I think what we should be focused on was that the president handled it brilliantly."
There's that effervescent praise, Trump craves. Good surrogate.
Mnuchin said that the "election issue" had been fully discussed.
After Mnuchin dodged George's initial question, Stephanopoulos said, "Are sanctions on the table now?"
He refused to say, but acknowledged that they will honor the previous sanctions on Russia.
"What we don't know is does President Trump agree with President Putin that does he accept President Putin's denials?" asked the ABC host.
Mnuchin replied, "Why would President Trump broadcast exactly what he said in the meeting? Strategically, that makes no sense. What he broadcast and what..."
Stephanopoulos said, "Well, he's already doing that on Twitter this morning. He's just not answering that question.
Mnuchin, "I got it, which why should he answer that question directly? He's made it very clear how he feels. He's made it very clear that he addressed it straight on. And there was significant substance."
Let's add the word "substance" as a word of praise worthy of Trump.
"This is a very important, important for us to have discussions on substantive issues. And I think the president handled it brilliantly," Mnuchin said.
Trump has sullied himself with his own behavior so much that if he actually discusses any real issues with a foreign leader, it's supposed to be revered as some sort of cataclysmic event.
Lapdogs and suck ups take note. This is how to win favor from Trump if you want a job in his administration.