Putin denies Russia hacked the presidential election; Trump blindly believes him

Donald Trump clearly has a thing for Vladimir Putin. Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Cheeto in Charge has refused to admit that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Even though they clearly did. And the FBI, CIA and NSA have all told him so. But Trump, goddamn patriot that he is, won’t hear it.

He will, however, blindly accept whatever Putin tells him as fact. At least that’s what Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had to say after the two presidents met for (allegedly) the first time on Friday.

Per The Guardian:

An unusually irritable Sergei Lavrov took questions from the Russian media. It sounded like there had been few major breakthroughs.

The most interesting part was his claim that Trump had told Putin he found it “strange” that there was a “campaign” over alleged Russian hacking in the election as there has been no proof.

Lavrov claims Trump told Putin he had heard his entreaties that Russia did not hack the election and accepts them.

That’s at odds with Rex Tillerson’s account of a fundamental disagreement.

Even if Secretary Tillerson, who was in the meeting, does disagree, it’s clear that neither he — nor the president — is taking a hard line on the matter. Via The Washington Post:

Putin and Trump met for more than two hours during the G-20 summit, announcing a “de-escalation commitment for southwest Syria.” The leaders discussed brokering “commitments of noninterference” in the U.S. political system during a lengthy face-to-face meeting in Germany.

Tillerson, who attended the meeting, said it did not focus on the U.S. moving to punish Russia for the allegations that it hacked and leaked information that would help Trump win the election. Instead, Tillerson said the two presidents focused on “how do we move forward” regarding the election hacking issue.

In other words: Trump is huge pussy with a dangerous man-crush on Putin.

Tillerson put an exclamation mark on that point when he described the meeting as “very constructive” and said that the two leaders “connected very quickly.”

More from Tillerson’s statement:

There was a very clear, positive chemistry between the two… And I think the positive thing I observed — and I’ve had many, many meetings with President Putin before — is there was not a lot of re-litigating of the past. I think both of the leaders feel like there’s a lot of things in the past that both of us are unhappy about. We’re unhappy, they’re unhappy. I think that the perspective of both of them was [that] this is a really important relationship — two largest nuclear powers in the world — it’s a really important relationship. How do we start making this work? How do we live with another? How do we work with one another? We simply have to find a way to go forward.

Hmmmm… well, we could start by not sweeping the fact that all of our intelligence agencies say that Putin is lying under the rug. Just an idea.

To add to the confusion, shortly after Tillerson’s statement, a senior White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta a slightly different story:

Then again, that’s coming from CNN — and in his most recent tweet, the president told us not to believe them. So we’ll just have to keep our eyes on Donnie’s Twitter for what the “official” story will be. In the meantime, you may want to invest in that Rosetta Stone: Russian CD-ROM:

[Photo: AP]