Washington Post columnist and MSNBC analyst Eugene Robinson wrote an editorial Thursday in defense of the U.S. intelligence community, praising the “supposed ‘deep state'” as “loyal and honorable” patriots willing to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Robinson writes that Congress has remained “supine” but that the unelected “public servants” with the power to secretly surveil are all that “stands between us and the abyss”:
Before this harebrained and reckless administration is history, the nation will have cause to celebrate the public servants derided by Trumpists as the supposed “deep state.”
The term itself is propaganda, intended to cast a sinister light upon men and women whom Trump and his minions find annoyingly knowledgeable and experienced. They are not participants in any kind of dark conspiracy. Rather, they are feared and loathed by the president and his wrecking crew of know-nothings because they have spent years — often decades — mastering the details of foreign and domestic policy.
God bless them. With a supine Congress unwilling to play the role it is assigned by the Constitution, the deep state stands between us and the abyss.
In this emergency, the loyal and honorable deep state has a higher duty. It’s called patriotism.
The Washington Post columnist praised Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats for criticizing the president during a talk at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, in which the U.S. intelligence official said he wished Mr. Trump spoke out against Russian meddling during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
“I wish he had made a different statement, but I think that now that has been clarified,” Coats told MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell. “If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way,” later adding, “But that’s not my role, that’s not my job.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday clarified his position from his public on Russian meddling, saying he misspoke when stating he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia’” instead of “why it would,” President Trump told reporters of the remarks he had made during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Trump criticized previous American leaders for the souring of relations between the U.S. and Russia.“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” he said on Tuesday, later adding, “It could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”
Standing alongside Putin, President Trump sought to put the Russian hacking narrative to bed, while raising questions about the U.S. intelligence’s findings and the Justice Department’s indictment accusing 12 Russians of hacking into Democrat email accounts to hurt failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. “He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” President Trump said. After the clarification, President Trump said his administration would “move aggressively” to repel efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.“We are doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018,” he said. “And we have a lot of power.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) emerged as one of the president’s defenders, citing Mr. Trump’s experience on the receiving end of “partisan investigations.” Back at the White House, Sen. Paul’s comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude: “Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!”
— Gio Benitez (@GioBenitez) July 17, 2018
President Donald Trump on Thursday reminded his detractors in an interview with CNBC that repairing ties with Russia “is a positive, not a negative, ” and warned he would be the “worst enemy” Putin has ever had if relations do not improve. “I’ll be his worst nightmare, but I don’t think it’ll be that way,” the President said. “I actually think we’ll have a good relationship.
President Donald Trump has asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington in the fall. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says “those discussions are already underway” for a fall meeting between the two presidents. It presumably would take place at the White House, but Sanders did not say where Trump and Putin would meet. In a tweet about Putin earlier Thursday, Trump said, “I look forward to our second meeting.”
The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear……..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
The Associated Press contributed to this report.