Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 12:32 PM ET, Mon July 16, 2018
(CNN)President Donald Trump has sent a lot of bad tweets. He’s tweeted things that aren’t true. He’s tweeted personal attacks about everyone from Hillary Clinton to Mika Brzezinski and back. He’s called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man.” But a tweet he sent Monday morning — just hours before sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin — has to be the worst.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!,” tweeted Trump.
Let’s be very, very clear about what Trump’s tweet suggests: That the reason the US and Russia have an adversarial relationship is because of the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Staggering. Stunning. Surreal.
Remember that the intelligence community — unanimously! — has concluded that Russia actively interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina concluded the same earlier this summer. Special counsel Robert Mueller charged a dozen Russians last week for their roles in what the charging document made clear was a broad and deep operation to influence the US presidential election.
Simply put: With the exception of a handful of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, there is simply no one in a position to know who thinks that a) Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 campaign and b) wasn’t trying to help Trump and hurt Clinton.
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