Troll level: Grandmaster. Vladimir Putin joked with Italian media today about America’s “political schizophrenia,” and scolded foreign minister Sergei Lavrov for not sharing Donald Trump’s secrets with him. But if Congress really wants to know what was said during the Oval Office meeting with Trump, Lavrov, and ambassador Sergei Kislyak, Putin says he’d be happy to provide their notes.
All you gotta do is ask ….
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the ongoing scandal around President Donald Trump sharing classified intelligence with Russian officials as “political schizophrenia.” …
Speaking at a joint news conference with the visiting Italian prime minister on Wednesday, Putin said he had “no other explanation” as to why Trump came under attack other than “political schizophrenia.” Putin even suggested that Russia share the records of last week’s talks between Trump and Lavrov with the U.S. Congress, if the White House approved.
Putin joked that that he would reprimand Lavrov because “he hasn’t shared those secrets with us.”
If by “political schizophrenia” Putin means he’s managing to drive the US crazy, well … his diagnosis isn’t that far off. The main motive for the Russian disinformation campaign over the last couple of years was to sow mistrust of the American political system, and it’s tough to argue against the success of that mission. Both Congress and the White House have obsessed over the investigation of that campaign to such an extent that it’s begun to paralyze both. Putin no longer needs a disinformation campaign; the American political system has begun to make the argument all on its own.
At least Congress remains sane enough not to take Putin up on this offer. At least … we hope so.
Update: Susan Collins says, “No thanks,” but then says the Trump administration should stop meeting with the Russians altogether:
Sen. Susan Collins: "The idea that we would accept any evidence from President Putin is absurd" https://t.co/md1UAd2ICp
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 17, 2017
Er, we didn’t even go that far during the Cold War. Perhaps Trump should stop rolling out the red carpet at the Oval Office door for them — that was a strange optic — but cutting off all contact is another form of overreaction.