Trump-Putin summit: Vladimir gives Donald a performance review
Donald Trump had a one-on-one summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, after Trump met with NATO allies (at least they used to be) and after a visit to the United Kingdom.
Instead of the conventional approach with interpreters on both sides and a written record of what’s discussed, the talk reportedly did not have an official record. Before leaving on his foreign trip, Trump bragged that, of all of his meetings, the interchange with Putin might be “the easiest of them all.” Despite the news reports, here is what might have been discussed by the two men, which likely resemble more of a performance evaluation of Trump by the Russian leader than an actual summit talk.
Vladimir Putin: Ah, Donald! Zdravstvujtye, my friend.
Donald Trump: Gesundheit.
Putin: No, no, I was merely greeting you. That’s how we say “hello” in Russian. Better get used to it.
Putin: How has your trip gone so far?
Trump: Pretty awful, but I’m making inroads. Those NATO freeloaders whined that they couldn’t pay any more for defense, but I made ‘em. That Angela Merkel thinks she’s so tough, but like I told ‘em at the NATO breakfast, Germany is totally a captive of Russia because of that energy pipeline.
Putin: (Chuckles) Donald, you shouldn’t make it so obvious. Germany might buy less oil and gas from us. Besides, the amount European members of NATO will pay for defense is the same amount they promised before.
Trump: Yeah, but I took credit for it, like I always do. They learned it’s easier just to let me scream and then nod their heads.
Putin: Shake their heads is more like it. And how was the trip to the U.K.?
Trump: The people were very rude to me. But I created the same kind of chaos as in the NATO meeting. My Sun interview said Theresa May was awful, but then I called it fake news. No one knows what to think. Those Brexit agreements could be dead in the water—this could be killing European trade. All just like you wanted.
Putin: So you’re blowing up the Brexit talks and your NATO friends aren’t so friendly anymore? Good, good. But your U.S. Congress passed resolutions supporting the U.S. role in NATO. And against your action on tariffs, too.
Trump: Yeah, but those were non-binding and only advisory. I just ignore all that stuff. Just like I did the law on sanctions against Russia for so long. And did you like the way I called the European Union a foe against the U.S.? And how I blamed any bad relationship between our two countries on Obama and U.S. stupidity?
Putin: Whatever. Well, Donald, let’s get to it. Before we do your performance evaluation, let’s review the goals we set up last year. You’ve done well on some areas but not so well on others.
Trump: (Whines) I’m doing the best I can! It takes work to destroy the world order. And it takes away from golf, plus my TV and tweeting time.
Putin: Fine, fine. First, let’s talk about some of your successes. This year’s top goal was to destroy U.S. alliances and pretend to build new ones. You successfully insulted almost all of the U.S. allies in NATO and the G7.
Trump: Yeah, I almost slipped and told that French Macaroon guy that he was fired. But I wanted to do it on live TV, and he wouldn’t agree to go on Fox & Friends.
Putin: Now let’s talk about North Korea. Donald, you got totally played at that meeting. Did you really think a single sheet of paper was going to fool anybody that it was an actual nuclear disarmament agreement?
Trump: I didn’t have enough time to do anything else.
Putin: And then you sent Mike Pompeo in afterward to negotiate something specific without prep work beforehand? These things take months of research and preparation. Everyone agrees that the meeting was a disaster. Donald, just drop it. Kim Jong Un isn’t going to agree to anything.
Trump: Not even if I give him a “Rocket Man” CD?
Putin: No. And you’re not getting a Nobel Peace Prize, either.
Trump: NO FAIR. Obama got one …
Putin: Now let’s talk about lifting sanctions against Russia. This was your job from day one. Why is it taking so long? You were supposed to send us the sharpest Republican members of Congress during your Independence Day holiday so we could convince them to get rid of sanctions. So we had to wait for a year and a half, and instead we got Ron Johnson.
Trump: Well, Louie Gohmert wasn’t available. Hey, how about if we send Devin Nunes next time?
Putin: Too obvious. Next on your list was electing more spineless Republicans, to make sure Congress does our—excuse me, I meant your—bidding. (Wags finger) You haven’t been doing so well there.
Trump: I can’t help it if Republicans keep nominating losers.
Putin: Donald, we destroyed Hillary Clinton and arranged for you to get elected in 2016 so we wouldn’t have to worry about sanctions. Why are so many Democratic candidates winning now? Why is Democratic voter turnout so high?
Trump: I keep talking about how awful immigrants are so my people will vote. Isn’t that enough?
Putin: No. Taking away babies made you look heartless. Even more heartless than me. (The two men chuckle.) But some of the Republican candidates are actual Nazis and white supremacists. They haven’t learned to keep that kind of talk under the radar.
Trump: You say that like it’s a bad thing.
Putin: Subtlety, Donald, subtlety. Now let’s talk about the economy. When you pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, that helped our oil business and oil prices, as we planned. You keep adding more tariffs against all of your allies and China. Do you really know what you’re doing? No, forget I even asked that.
Trump: It makes me look tough!
Putin: No, it makes you look stupid. But I’m not complaining. After all, China has to buy soybeans from somewhere. They’re not buying them from U.S. farmers, so they’re buying them from Russia. Nice work. So let’s recap: You’ve been successful at poking holes in U.S. alliances, all to Europe’s disadvantage. But you totally blew the Singapore summit with Kim. You’ve increased our business in oil and soybeans. I’ll give you a high rating there. It’s taking you way too long to get our sanctions lifted. Let’s make this a priority, eh?
Trump: (Sighs) Okay.
Putin: Donald, we’re doing the best we can to meddle in your midterm elections. But unless Republicans figure out more ways to repress the vote, there’s a good chance they’ll lose the House, and the Senate could be up for grabs. And did you really have to support Joe Arpaio?
Trump: Well, I pardoned him, so don’t I have to support him?
Putin: No. Stay out of that race. Just have the primary winners keep going on Fox.
Trump: So what are we going to tell people that we talked about at our summit?
Putin: Just have that Huckleberry woman tell the media that we “had a frank meeting at the highest level, and that our two nations are working on a constructive relationship.”
Trump: What if anyone asks if we discussed anything substantive, like Ukraine, Crimea, Syria, or nuclear threats?
Putin: Just tell her to say what she always does: “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
Trump: Yeah. And if there are any leaks and if the media say anything else, I’ll just say it’s fake news.
Putin: Right. And Donald, remember, you can always call me. Or I’ll call you—after all, I’ve got your number.
(Chuckles) In more ways than one. Don’t forget the money you owe us. And the fact that a Trump Hotel is Moscow is still on the line.
Originally posted on Daily Kos on July 15, 2018.