If you insult Putin in public, like by telling the newsmedia just before or after meeting with him that he is the Butcher of Crimea, and he messed with our elections, and is an overall jerk — then you will get nothing behind closed doors from Putin. Putin will decide “To heck with you, and to heck with the relationship we just forged.” Putin will get even, will take intense personal revenge, even if it is bad for Russia — even if it is bad for Putin. Because there are no institutional reins on him.
But if you go in public and tell everyone that Putin is a nice guy (y’know, just like Kim Jong Un) and that Putin intensely maintains that he did not mess with elections — not sweet little Putey Wutey (even though he obviously did) — then you next can maintain the momentum established beforehand in the private room. You can proceed to remind Putin what you told him privately: that this garbage has to stop — or else. That if he messes in Syria, we will do “X.” If he messes with our Iran boycott, we will do “Y.” We will generate so much oil from hydraulic fracturing and from ANWR and from all our sources that we will glut the market — if not tomorrow, then a year from now. We will send even more lethal offensive military weapons to Ukraine. We can restore the promised shield to Eastern Europe that Obama withdrew. And even if we cannot mess with Russian elections (because they have no elections), they do have computers — and, so help us, we will mess with their technology in a way they cannot imagine. Trump knows from his advisers what we can do. If he sweet-talks Putin in public — just Putin on the Ritz — then everything that Trump has told Putin privately can be reinforced with action, and he even can wedge concessions because, against that background, Putin knows that no one will believe that he made any concessions. Everyone is set to believe that Putin is getting whatever he wants, that Trump understands nothing. So, in that setting, Putin can make concessions and still save face.
Everybody freaking out over Trump's meeting with Putin, where Trump wouldn't publicly flay Putin's skin off his body, proved that those who are freaking out never did a damn thing with difficult people in their lives. Of course these people also freaked the hell out when Trump met with Kimmy Ding Dong of North Korea. Rule #1: When negotiating with a dictator who has no checks on his power, you do not insult him at the joint press conference. As with Little Kim, I guarantee that Trump will negotiate more out of Putin than Obama could have ever dreamed of, because Obama was a brainless, spineless little shill who had never met an obstacle in his life that other people didn't help him navigate, whereas Trump has dealt one-on-one with people all over the world in business dealings, many of them hostile in nature.
But the "smart" people, who couldn't bother telling that fat, disgusting walking shit-pile Harvey Weinstein to stop raping women, are saying that they could handle Putin. Sure. Yeah.
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