During an appearance on CNN's New Day Wednesday morning, Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey criticized President Trump for often congratulating "leaders who are not democratically elected" and cast doubt on the President's desire to have a positive relationship with Russia, suggesting the Special Counsel's indictment of Russian nationals and organizations for interfering in the 2016 presidential election created an appearance of impropriety.
Dawsey wrote a story for The Washington Post alleging that President Trump congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election despite pleadings from his national security team not to do so. According to Dawsey’s reporting, President Trump also neglected to bring up the recent poisoning of an ex-Russian spy residing in Britain during his phone call with his Putin, going against the advice of his advisers.
Co-host Chris Cuomo then pressed Dawsey about the White House’s rationale for the “relatively light hand that the President uses with Putin.” Dawsey’s response seemed to rely heavily on the standard left-wing talk point that President Trump has an unhealthy sympathy toward autocratic regimes: “The President often congratulates leaders who are not democratically elected. You see him congratulating the Chinese President who has now made himself President for life, you see him congratulating the Turkish President, who is seen as a strong man. He often gives autocratic and dictators congratulations even when they win elections, even if the elections are not done like the United States elections are done.”
Dawsey then dismissed the White House’s counter-argument that the President has in fact taken a tough stance against Russia: “the President has said repeatedly he wants to have a positive relationship with Vladimir Putin. That has attracted a lot of scrutiny Chris because of, you know, the investigation into did Russians affect the election? There’s been charges now brought by Special Counsel Mueller showing how they tried to sway the election; 13 different people.”
Dawsey and his fellow media minions’ criticism of Trump for congratulating President Putin’s re-election in addition to wanting a strong relationship with Russia might carry a bit more water had they held President Obama to the same standard. In 2012, Obama also called to congratulate Putin on his successful election campaign.
In the wake of the media hysteria over President Trump’s phone call to Putin, only the Today show even bothered to mention this. Also, the media stayed mostly silent when President Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” after his re-election, specifically telling Medvedev to transmit that message to his successor Vladimir Putin.
Obama's comments indicate that he would have liked to have a positive relationship with Russia, exactly like President Trump does now. The media must really expect the American public to have short memories.
The media will continue to paint President Trump as a Russian puppet. They will happily dismiss any evidence to the contrary, including his recent decisions to arm Ukraine and impose sanctions on the Putin regime for interfering in the 2016 election.
CNN New Day
CHRIS CUOMO: The President is facing partisan backlash for congratulating Vladimir Putin on his re-election. CNN has learned White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is furious about the leaks, about this phone call getting into The Washington Post. The newspaper reporting that the President congratulated Putin despite the advice of his National Security Advisers. That’s probably the part that bothers Kelly the most. Joining us now is CNN political analyst Josh Dawsey, he’s one of the reporters for The Washington Post that broke the story. You made the General angry. Josh, obviously, they don’t like leaks in that White House but what do the leaks suggest to you?
JOSH DAWSEY: The leaks suggest that the President’s National Security Advisers clearly said do not congratulate in the written briefings. They also wanted him to bring up attack with a nerve agent in London of a Russian ex-spy that is believed to have happened at the hands of the Russian government. And neither one of those things were addressed in the call with Vladimir Putin. There was a lot of debate and dissention in the White House on whether he should congratulate Vladimir Putin on this election, re-election, because, you know, it’s seen as a sham, it’s seen as a fixed election, not a democratic election. And there’s a sense by congratulating him, you give that more legitimacy, at least in the eyes of many close to Trump. And the President was given extensive briefings on how to handle this call. He obviously handled it in his own way and we were able to reveal that he did handle it his own way and did not follow the national security guidance that he was given in writing.
CUOMO: What was the argument in favor of congratulating Putin and what do you hear in terms of the rationale for the relatively light hand that the President uses with Putin?
DAWSEY: Sure so the rationale is the President often congratulates leaders who are not democratically elected. You see him congratulating the Chinese President who has now made himself President for life, you see him congratulating the Turkish President, who is seen as a strong man. He often gives autocratic and dictators congratulations even when they win elections, even if the elections are not done like the United States elections are done. I mean, White House officials would argue that the administration has put new sanctions on Russia, that there’s been a lot of tough talk about Russia from administration officials. But the President has said repeatedly he wants to have a positive relationship with Vladimir Putin. That has attracted a lot of scrutiny Chris because of, you know, the investigation into did Russians affect the election? There’s been charges now brought by Special Counsel Mueller showing how they tried to sway the election; 13 different people. The internet research agency, a Moscow group tied to the government so there’s a lot of scrutiny on these relationships.
CUOMO: It’s very interesting. Let me ask you something else in terms of the idea that he didn’t follow advice on this call. There’s some reporting that suggests he may not have looked at the note cards that said it but your reporting is whether or not he looked at the note cards doesn’t matter because he was briefed in person about what should and should not happen on this call. Yes?
CUOMO: The President’s given two briefings on these sorts of calls, he’s given extensive note cards for his binder that he looks at, he’s also given an oral briefing. It is unclear what came up in the oral briefing and whether the oral briefing queued specifically to what was in the binders, “do not congratulate” and the condemnation of attack were both in his written notes, his oral briefing that’s conducted by H.R. McMaster, his embattled National Security Adviser, may have taken a different tone. We obviously weren’t present for that so we can’t speak to the entirety of its contents.