The president, representing the United States at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, tweets that “everyone” at the world conference is talking about why Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta wouldn’t give DNC servers to law enforcement. Trump erroneously claims the CIA sought the server. Podesta, who had no authority over the DNC, urges “our whack job” president to “get a grip.”
Trump gives a speech in Warsaw contradicting an earlier speech he gave in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Poland, he publicly disparages U.S. intelligence agencies.
And then …
The president meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the White House press release identifies his country as “the Republic of China” — that is, China’s foe Taiwan.
Trump meets with Vladimir Putin and tweets that he “discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” with Putin. Twelve hours later, Trump tweets that such a “Cyber Security unit” can’t happen.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells reporters that Trump discussed sanctions with Putin. Trump tweets the next day: “Sanctions were not discussed.”
Trump’s voter-fraud commission requests voter files and is roundly rejected by Democratic and Republican state officials alike; the Mississippi secretary of state, a Republican, tells the commission to “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”
In spite of Trump’s vow that a North Korean missile capable of reaching the United States “won’t happen,” North Korea tests an ICBM. Trump calls this “very, very bad behavior.”
The White House issues a statement threatening to bomb the Syrian regime. Both the intelligence community and the Pentagon appear to be caught off guard.
Now, after months of Trump denials of Russia contacts, comes proof of a Russia meeting with Donald Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul J. Manafort during the campaign. Among Junior’s conflicting explanations: It was OK because the Russian didn’t produce good dirt on Clinton.
And these are just some of the misfires.
They aren’t rookie mistakes. This is a team that never should have taken the field.