May 3, 2019

Nicolle Wallace opened her show on Friday with Trump's answers to reporters, in which he detailed — unashamedly — that he'd had a lovely, warm, fuzzy phone call with his BFF Vladdy after the Mueller Report came out. When Kristen Welker had the audacity to ask him if he'd told Putin not to meddle in our next election, Trump got sort of S-N-I-T-T-Y with her, and called her "very rude." She repeated the question anyway.

REPORTER: Did you address the election meddling issues that came up in the Mueller report with Mr. Putin today?

TRUMP: We discussed it, and he actually, uh, wort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain, and it ended up being a mouse. But he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever. So pretty much that's what it was.

KRISTIN WELKER: Mr. President, did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?

TRUMP: Excuse me. I'm talking. I'm answering this question. You are very rude. So we had a good conversation about many different things. Okay?

WELKER: Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?

TRUMP: We didn't discuss that. (end video)

WALLACE: We didn't discuss that. And he smiled? Was it a (???), sir? Or were you Facetiming? Another one of Mueller's more alarming findings that Trump apparently didn't get a chance to bring up: that Trump and Russia spent the 2016 election working toward a common goal, or as the Mueller report puts it, quote, the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. And Putin, well, he made it clear who he wanted to win.

Wallace asked Frank Figliuzzi what he made of the fact that Trump called Putin after the Mueller Report was released, and Trump's characterization of the tone and content of that phone call. She noted that she'd never heard Trump describe a foreign leader as "smiling" ever since he's taken office. Furthermore, does that indicate this was a video call? How do you hear someone smile? He didn't address that particular detail, but he did outline exactly what SHOULD have happened in that call.

FIGLIUZZI: It's troubling to think our president is finding comfort and solace in our adversary. And our that nation's adversary is actually now his buddy. He's finding self-affirmation in someone who gets up every morning trying to hurt our country. And he simply doesn't get it. Here's how that exchange should have gone, especially if it was that lengthy a phone call. "Vladimir, the report has troubling information about the degree to which you and your government tried to mess with our democracy and our elections, and if it happens again the wrath of the U.S. Government is going to come down on your head in the form of sanctions like you've never before seen." That's how it should have gone. So when we hear Putin say at the Helsinki summit, "I supported the president's campaign because he's talking about bringing relations back to normal." This is anything but normal, what we're hearing today and seeing. Normal would be acknowledging Russia as an adversary and doing something about it, and that's not happening.

No. It's certainly not happening. In fact, when asked whether the call was a video call (because of Trump's saying Putin had "sort of smiled,") an Administration official clarified. According to The New York Times, "A White House official later clarified that it was not a video call; Mr. Trump meant to say that Mr. Putin had 'laughed, chuckled,' rather than smiled."

Oh. Well, then. That's MUCH better. Who doesn't love the thought of Putin chuckling at Mueller's findings?

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