For as long as history remembers Donald Trump, it will be a day that will live in infamy.
The President’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday is already one of the most notorious moments in the tortured relations between Washington and Moscow.
Trump’s humiliation is taking its place alongside John Kennedy’s bruising at the hands of Nikita Khrushchev, and George W. Bush staring into Putin’s eyes and getting a sense of his soul.
Like those moments in US-Russia summit lore, the events that unfolded Monday are likely to have significant and unpredictable political and geopolitical reverberations in the United States and around the world.
Trump’s favoring of Putin’s denial of election interference accusations leveled by the US intelligence community was not just the most abject display given by any President overseas, it may be the moment that finally validated claims that Trump prizes his own interests above those of America.
Even Trump supporter Newt Gingrich was critical of Trump’s remarks
President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) July 16, 2018
The most obvious question — why did Trump cave so spectacularly to Putin — is likely to remain cloudy going forward, at least unless special counsel Robert Mueller finds evidence the President is beholden to the Russian leader.