We all know that Trump hates to read anything unless it’s about himself, so it’s not surprising that in order to prep him for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this Friday, White House aides want to make sure he’s understanding the issues at hand so they are briefing him with short memos consisting of – you guessed it – 140 characters or less.
The LA Times reports:
Leading up to his first face-to-face meeting with Putin, U.S. intelligence officials have prepared a detailed psychological profile of the long-serving Russian strongman, a former KGB officer who spent decades recruiting spies for the Soviet Union and mastered the art of bending people to his will.
The profile, according to two U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the preparations, is part of a thick binder prepared for Trump. The president often doesn’t read the usual briefing books and relies on in-person briefings, the officials said, so aides also have written a list of tweet-length sentences that summarize the main points Trump could bring up with Putin.
Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said, “I worry a little about this meeting because Putin is going to walk into the room very well prepared, and I’m not certain Trump will come into that room prepared.”
Pifer has every reason to be concerned, (we should ALL be concerned), but it seems that the White House is really trying to do all they can at this point to help out the crazy orange baby-in-chief – and likely not for his sake, but for our country’s as this meeting is so high-stakes, it could make or break U.S. relations with Russia for many years to come.
The meeting agenda has been kept under wraps, but you can expect that Putin will walk into that meeting armed to the teeth, while Trump, on the other hand, has been briefed in Tweet form, but National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster assured reporters, “There’s no specific agenda. It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about.”
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t comfort me one bit.
House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), warned in a telephone interview that Trump could expect major backlash if he doesn’t tell Putin to keep his nose out of American elections and our affairs in general:
If he doesn’t have the courage to raise the issue, Putin will conclude he can walk over our affairs and the president won’t object,” Schiff said. “That would be a big mistake.”
Vladimir Putin is not known as a soft negotiator. He’s a former KGB Intelligence Officer for crying out loud, and Trump and his counterparts are treating this meeting like he’s heading to Mar-A-Lago for one of his casual golf weekends. He really should be more prepared, don’t you think?
Trump’s cognitive issues have gotten worse as the days pass, so his aides giving him short tweet-like notes to prepare is probably their last desperate attempt to get him to soak up whatever knowledge he can before heading into this crucial sit down with a pretty formidable guy. While they’ve likely done their best, we should still assume that Trump has no idea what he’s about to walk into and we should all prepare for it to blow up in his face.
Featured image via Getty/Pool