On Thursday Trump and Putin spoke on the phone for around ten minutes without national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Donald was euphoric that the Russian president praised Trump on the U.S. economy.
It's interesting that the Russians made the U.S. aware of this phone call first and not the Oval office.
Much of what Putin told the media about the call could have been uttered by Trump himself.
Putin said Trump had "fairly serious achievements"
"Investor confidence in the American economy, which means that they trust what President Trump is doing in this area."
Then the Russian strongman said it was "espionage mania" surrounding the investigations into Russia's election hacking.
"It's delirium, it's madness," he said. "This is all dreamed up by people who are in the opposition to Trump so as to make sure that everyone thinks that what he's doing and working at is illegitimate."
On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and her panel were flabbergasted that Putin has so easily manipulated Trump.
Mitchell discussed Putin's annual news conference in which the backslapping took place.
Mitchell said, "That the call was in-part Trump thanking Putin for praising the Trump economy and the economic advancements in the U.S. in Putin's four-hour annual news conference yesterday. That's pretty weird."
Greg Miller, the Washington Post's national security reporter said, "Other former CIA officers who deal with Russia regard this as a sort of Putin's masterful ability to manipulate Trump from afar in some ways. He's intentionally praising Trump during Putin's annual press conference."
"He knows those words are going to resonate with the American president. He knows how desperately sometimes Trump seems to crave that kind of attention and praise...it gives Putin a great deal of power."
Mitchell replied, "And it's remarkable that the White House even puts that out in their four or five-line readout, but that that's the main point that they're telling us, 'the president really appreciated that flattery from Vladimir Putin.'
Trump needs the world to see a world leader praise him in any context.
How embarrassing. How dangerous.