Trump knows foreign policy because he ran a Miss Universe pageant and maybe had a secret meeting with Putin

Writing about Donald Trump isn’t difficult because he doesn’t give you material to work with. Writing about Donald Trump is difficult because he gives you too much material to work with. In any given day, Il Douche can rattle off three or four things that, in isolation, would warrant their own media frenzy. But he moves from one cringeworthy moment to the next, none of them seem to stick.

For instance, yesterday Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo by tweeting a photo of him leaning over a taco bowl — excuse me, a taco fiesta! — while giving a half-hearted thumbs up and insisting that “I love Hispanics!” He also went to West Virginia, donned a hard hat and complained that climate regulations have led to a serious decline in the quality of hairspray. In between, he gave an interview with Bret Baier in which he refused to comment (again) on whether he had ever met with Vladmir Putin, but claimed that he could help mend America’s relationship with Russia because he judged a Miss Universe pageant a few years ago.

Baier: About Russia, you were asked yesterday if you’ve ever spoken to Vladmir Putin, and you said, “I don’t want to say.”

Trump: Yeah, I have no comment on that. No comment.

Baier: But one of the things people like about you is that you answer any question.

Trump: Yeah but I don’t want to comment because — Let’s assume I did. Perhaps it was personal. You know, I don’t want to hurt his confidence. But I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago — Miss Universe contest, which was a big, big, incredible event. An incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people, and you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with somebody?

The big takeaway from this exchange that made the rounds on Twitter was that Donald Trump had just made one of President Obama’s jokes from the White House Correspondents Dinner last Saturday come true:

As foreign policy qualifications go, being involved in the Miss Universe pageant is a notch below being able to see Russia from your house.

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

However, lost amid the frenzy of mockery that came out of Trump’s claim was any sort of followup on the fact that he is being super sketchy about having possibly held a secret meeting with Vladmir Putin, who has become something of a super-villain in this presidential race. Especially on the Republican side. If a Democratic candidate had gone to Russia and refused to tell the media whether they had met with Putin — let alone what was discussed — Fox personalities such as Bret Baier, to say nothing of the entire Republican field, would have tagged them as a Manchurian candidate.

And they wouldn’t be wrong to be suspicious! Vladmir Putin has made it clear that he does not like the United States very much. He’s also a generally shady dude. The next president is going to spend quite a bit of time dealing with the man. It’s worth knowing if they’re already chummy. It’s really strange that Trump is being so cagey about this in particular, especially given how candid he is on most things.

Still, perhaps the most consequential of Trump’s statements yesterday went largely ignored because it was stuck in the middle of a full day of nonsense.

This is going to be a long six months.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • confusion

    When will DWS flip to the Republican Party? She reminds me of Lieberman.

  • Cut Mala
  • Robin Burt

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  • Charles Carey

    Demagogue Don the Con loves conspiracy theories. So, Manafort, DD the C’s guy is a backer of Putin’s Ukrainian lackey and other Russian oligarchs. DD the C and Vlad are a mutual admiration team– enter Manafort. We know that DD the C only cares about $ and winning. Vlad about $ ( see Panama Papers). They DD the C will sell the US out– that’s why DD the C will not receive security briefs of any consequence. DD the C and Vlad are suck buddies.

  • This is exactly what the Republican party has spent years cultivating. The only difference between Trump and any other Republican is that Trump doesn’t speak in code. Yes, he’s incoherent, but look at the party luminaries — Paul Ryan, their fiscal go-to guy, who can’t come up with a budget with figures that add up; Mitch McConnell, who’s completely ineffectual; Sarah Palin?!? And on the state level it’s even worse.

    Now it’s coming home to roost and it has them terrified. But not enough that they’re going to dump Trump, because the party’s only agenda is get in power and stay in power, whatever it takes. And where have we seen that before?

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  • Moderator3

    Please don’t respond to obvious trolls. Simply flag them.

  • Gerald Parks

    What a disaster!

  • woodroad34

    Yeah, Janet….no one cares.

  • woodroad34

    Mark Cuban made the most wonderful observation…Trump’s campaign is the Jerry Seinfeld campaign. It’s all about nothing.

  • woodroad34

    Ah! So that’s why he chose Sarah Palin to be his spokes-thing. She had the same qualifications…being able to see Russia from her backyard and all.

  • Eleanorjsteele

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cc901etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cc901e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsProjectGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cc901e….,….

  • Phil in FLL

    Many have now see, strewn across the Internet, the titles from the fascist era in Europe, those titles of honor and homage that are now attributed to the presumptive Republican nominee.

    We speak these titles in hushed tones—testament to the greatness of the man to whom they refer—these titles that instantly command respect: The Boss… The Leader… Il Douche.

  • It’s funny that John is pointing out “typical” twitter responses when his twitter is a disaster full of racism and smugness -typically lashing out at liberals. He’s become somewhat of a joke to many on the left and has even had his head put on a piece of crap (not the classiest joke but it got it’s point across and no less classy than many of the stunts John’s pulled – red baiting anyone?). It’s also interesting how it’s all about “winning” to him and not making progress or change. That’s a typical gay white male privileged attitude and one of the reasons the left is fracturing so much – they’re not willing to change or adapt, and want the country to run like it’s 1996. The Clinton years were good to them but it’s time to move on and focus on what’s next. The fact that the Bushes and the Koch brothers, etc. are flocking to Hillary is not a good thing, it’s a sign there’s a shift. The question is will you be on the right or wrong side of history because it’s clear which side the author of this post will be on.

  • JaneE

    Obviously Trump and Putin are conspiring to create a 21st century version of the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact. The only question is who breaks this one. /snark

  • Many months ago, Trump bragged about “meeting” Putin while on the show 60 Minutes. He actually gave a number of details about that supposed meeting.

    Then it was revealed that Trump had recorded his segment at his own home office, whereas the Putin interview was recorded on an entirely different day in Russia.

    Donald Trump lies as easily as the rest of us breathe. He is demonstrably mentally ill. Yeah — he is a sheer genius when it comes to manipulating the media and getting billions of dollars worth of free air time. Aside from that? I think it is a very clear sign just how “ill” America’s political institutions are, that a man who repeatedly demonstrates on live TV that he is literally unfit for elected office and in dire need of mental health treatment is nevertheless a major political party’s nominee for President.

    I mean, jeez, not that many years ago, although Howard Dean’s campaign wasn’t doing so good, it was one exuberant yell at a campaign rally which is said to have abruptly ended it. Trump’s run has been virtually daily behavior which in a sane country would be automatically disqualifying.

    The lies, the narcissism, the eager embrace of war crimes, scaring the shit out of America’s allies, promising basically Nazi-level police oppression of minorities, the ignorance, the misogyny and racism… What has happened to this country such that the Republicans cannot stop an obvious madman from seizing their party’s nomination? Where the fuck are the adults to say, “Sorry folks, we know you find him entertaining and outrageous, but we just can’t allow this”?

    Or, as the old saying goes, have the lunatics taken over the asylum, and this is how empires finally fall?

    Oh, and btw, I would put money on Trump never meeting Putin.

  • Sure but Voldemort is mostly talk, we know HRC likes to fight. We shall see.

  • Demosthenes

    Donald Trump’s vacuous policy believes and qualifications make Sarah Palin seem like the reincarnation of Otto von Bismarck.

  • Sally

    I trust HRC not to attempt to blow up the entire world because ‘they just don’t show any respect.’

  • Sally

    Bret Baier actually said, “But one oft he things people like about you is that you answer any question.” REALLY? When has he answered ONE question, Bret?

  • The_Fixer

    Thus spake Drumpfo der Clown:

    “… But I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago — Miss Universe contest, which was a big, big, incredible event. An incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people, and you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with somebody?“

    Sigh. Where to begin. First off, the Miss Universe contest is an archaic throwback. It doesn’t qualify as a “Major Event” any more than Ralphie’s father’s ugly leg lamp qualified as a “Major Award.” It was an entertainment event of some sorts, hardly worthy of note, and to use that as an indicator of one’s diplomatic capabilities is just… brain dead. Not the thing that any reasonable person would brag about, but he does just that.

    Continuing, we have the topper: “Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with somebody?” This from a man who has made an entire nation of people out to be criminals? This from a man who wants to militarily whip other countries into shape and take their natural resources to boot? This from a man who wants to get rid of an entire group of people based on their religious beliefs?

    Good grief, you are right, Jon. There’s just too much material here, and all of it would be absurdly funny in a movie comedy. Except that this guy has managed to snooker a large group of people into supporting him, and we’ll have to deal with him at least until November (unless my wish/prediction comes true about him quitting in the midst of the Republican Convention).

    Yeesh!

  • On the one hand we have Trump who is completely unpredictable and probably dangerous, and on the other we have HRC who is a hawk and definitely dangerous but maybe not as dangerous as Trump because he’s so unpredictable. Sounds like we have a great future.

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