Who Is Vladimir Putin? A Tweetstorm By Ben Sasse

“President Trump should have only one message for Putin tomorrow, quit messing with America.”

The big item on the agenda for today is the face-to-face meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting in Helsinki, Finland comes three days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and the US election infrastructure in 2016.

In advance of the meeting, polling shows that Russia and Putin have become more popular in the US. Since the 2016, despite revelations about Russian cyberattacks, there has been a “reset” of opinions about the country, primarily among Republicans. Gallup recently found that the share of Republicans who view Moscow as an ally has doubled since Donald Trump took office. Perhaps that is why Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse felt compelled to take to Twitter to educate the public about Mr. Putin.

Sasse has recently reappeared on Twitter after a self-imposed hiatus that has lasted most of this year. The Trump-sized tweetstorm on the senator’s popular Twitter account began with the questions, “Exactly who is Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader our president is about to meet with in Helsinki? And what does he want?”

“It’s a complicated question. But here’s what we do know,” Sasse continued.

“Putin is a murderer. He has ordered the assassinations of political adversaries and used outlawed chemical weapons to do it. He oversees Russian military units that shot down Malaysian flight 17 and murdered almost 300 civilians.

“Putin is a crook and a liar. He has broken almost every agreement he has signed with the United States, including on Syria and Ukraine. He has become one of the world's richest men through embezzlement and stealing from his own people.

“Putin is an enemy of America. He sees us as his main enemy and is engaged in ongoing attacks on our nation through information warfare and hacking our infrastructure. It’s not just that he messed with our election in 2016; he attacks us regularly, and will again in 2018.

“Remember, Putin ordered the influence operations that have been exposed in the most recent indictments, did not hesitate to invade Ukraine and Georgia, organized a coup in Montenegro, funded xenophobic political parties across Europe, and crippled Estonia with cyberattacks.

“No matter how much Putin flatters the President, he is a KGB thug who jails political opponents, encourages/orders the murder of Russian dissidents and defectors at home and abroad, and who directs a military that bombs women, children, and the injured in hospitals in Syria.”

The Sasse tweetstorm abated with advice for President Trump. “I don't think President Trump should be dignifying Putin with this meeting,” Sasse said. “When Reagan met with Gorbachev, he did so from a position of strength & moral clarity about the evil empire that the Soviet Union was, and w/ a clear purpose to end the Soviet Union's threat to the US.”

“President Trump should have only one message for Putin tomorrow,” Sasse concluded. “Quit messing with America.”

But Sasse wasn’t completely finished yet. President Trump, who has yet to condemn the Russian cyberattacks on the US addressed in the indictment, tweeted this morning, it was to attack the “Rigged Witch Hunt” rather than the Russian assault on the foundation of American democracy.

“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” the president tweeted before his historic closed-door meeting with the neo-Soviet ruler.

“A better thing, Mr. President, would be to declare: ‘Russia is the enemy of America and our allies, and we will expose and respond to their continued cyber-attacks against our nation,’” Sasse replied.

Welcome back to Twitter, Sen. Sasse. We have missed your outspokenness and honesty over the past few months.

[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr]

Comments
No. 1-11
IndependentConNT
IndependentConNT

If Obama or GWB were cheerleading for a Soviet butcher who promotes tyranny and genocide the world over the "right" would be calling for revolution. This is absolutely disgusting, maybe even worse than BHO's coddling of the Iranian ayatollahs.

ResurgentLeatherDad
ResurgentLeatherDad

Putin confirms they interfered in the election and all but confirmed the existence of a pee-pee tape with his "I didn't even know Trump was in Russia(a lie) and there were too many businessmen to blackmail for this to be feasible. Don't worry about it anymore. Wink ;)" non answer to the direct question of kompromat on Trump.

So much winning!

rightagain
rightagain

@Bpearson - So what if Sasse speaks out, what has he DONE?

The answer is nothing. Sasse, like Lindsey Graham and other Republicans, speak out from time to time, but do absolutely nothing. They are reliable yes votes for anything that Trump wants to do.

Words are meaningless without action. In the era of Trump, all these Republicans are enablers.

Ben_Smith
Ben_Smith

@Bpearson -- Let's stop using words like "stupidity" and start using words like treasonous.

To stand on the world stage and declare that the USA and Russia are morally equivalent is treasonous. It is golden showers on every soldier who has ever fought and died to protect our country.

Treason is Trump, and treason is any elected politician or pundit who doesn't call for his immediate impeachment.

Bpearson
Bpearson

Thanks to Ben Sasse for being one of the few remaining republican's willing to speak out against the stupidity of this President. It's pretty clear now that Trump's agenda was to insure the continuing meddling by Russia during the midterms.

Just proves once you go down that slippery slope of no values, everything becomes the new normal. Trump's mantra of winning at any/all costs has never become more apparent. Is that where the republican party has morphed to as well?