Call your MoCs and leave no doubt in their minds–none whatsoever–how you feel about Trump’s treasonous performance in Helsinki.
Holy shit. I mean, holy shit. HOLY SHIT.
Everyone was braced for the Helsinki meeting to be bad. But, HOLY SHIT.
Yeah, it’s every bit as bad as it looked and sounded and seemed. And yet, it’s hard to find the words to describe what we all saw.
How about we should start with the transcript and the video of the press conference, assuming you can bear to watch. It comes care of Boing Boing:
Here’s a selection of reactions on Twitter:
John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan), director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017:
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson), Republican strategist and author of the upcoming Everything Trump Touches Dies:
He’s bad at being President. He’s bad at being a patriot. He’s bad at being an America. He’s owned. He might as well be wearing a dog collar and looking up at Putin for Donnie Snacks.
Putin is to Donald Trump as Donald Trump is to a single-celled life form. He’s played Trump like a fiddle. This is a disaster for America.
I’m starting to think the pee tape isn’t just real, but it’s spectacular.
If you needed any other evidence that this President is completely owned, you just got it.
Let me tell you, if Barack Obama had said the crap Trump said today there would already be 10, 000 hypercaustic elected Republican press releases, Facebook posts, and tweets. There would be a hundred calls for impeachment by close of business today.
Press secretary for a pro-Trump Senator: “FML. Can I come play for Team America now?”
Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom), Republican and author of The Death of Expertise:
This is worse than I expected. And my expectations were already rock bottom.
Holy crap. This is an abomination.
Putin is completely in command of this situation. He’s basically told Trump to go piss up a rope about the GRU guys [he means the 12 Russians who were indicted on July 13, 2018]. (“You want investigations? Sure. I’ll look into it. Give me Bill Browder.”) Trump, meanwhile, is babbling “no collusion.”
I dare any of Trump’s enablers and apologists to defend what we just saw.
I expect nothing from the House. But other GOPers who don’t oppose this are dead to me. This could be what finally drives me out of the party — I’m sure to the relief of the Putin Bloc who will stay. If you @ me about quitting, I’ll block you. I don’t need your advice on that.
Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES), a high-ranking Republican who worked for past presidential campaigns, and who recently left the party:
No American President has ever disgraced himself, the Presidency and the United Stated like Trump did today. The video will endure as a monument to stupidity, arrogance and idiocy throughout the ages. Trump beclowned himself and made the world much more dangerous. What a fool.
Ethics expert Walter Shaub (@WaltShaub):
Literal collusion caught on video today: “[I]n refusing to acknowledge the plain facts about Russia’s behavior, while trashing his own country’s justice system, Mr. Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.” [Then he linked to this Washington Post story:]
Sally Yates (@SallyQYates), who tried to alert the administration about the dangers Michael Flynn posed and got fired in early 2017 for her trouble:
Our President today not only chose a tyrant over his own Intel community, he chose Russia’s interests over the country he is sworn to protect. All Americans should raise their voices. Let the world know what we stand for.
Maria Spinella (@mariaspinella) of CNN:
Chuck Hagel to his former colleagues on
@wolfblitzer “now is the time…now is the time the congress of the United States must step up and step into this…this is serious”
Michael Cohen (@speechboy71), columnist for the Boston Globe:
That was a treasonous performance. Any Republican who doesn’t immediately condemn Trump’s words – and begin the process of impeachment – is complicit
Every journalist in America needs to have their hair on fire over what just happened in Helsinki. This is a grave political crisis.
Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta), senior correspondent at Business Insider:
It’s not a summit, it’s a crime scene.
Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore), editor-at-large for MacLeans:
Trump is in Air Force One right now, it’s only 9pm Helsinki time. He is likely watching the reaction. An almost universal condemnation, even among GOP politicians. Even he must realize he has stumbled into uncharted territory. How will he react?
Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) of Crooked Media:
This is just a really sad day for the United States.
With the exception of ailing Arizona Senator John McCain (his statement is the pinned tweet on the @SenJohnMcCain Twitter page), sitting GOP Congressfolk have been way too mealy-mouthed about this. So mealy-mouthed that it’s not worth including any of their responses here (though McCain’s is good and it’s a shame he can’t do more, but he has a particularly nasty brain cancer, so…)
By the time you see this post you may well have already called your MoCs.
If you sat there unable to do much more than absorb and pick your jaw up off the floor, well, your window to call is open. And hey, this is bad enough that it’s worth calling again about.
Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) was quicker on the draw than us. We are reproducing her sample script, which encourages you to ask your members of Congress (MoCs) to do more than issue sternly worded statements.
A few points we at OTYCD want to add:
Before you call, check the social media feeds for each of your MoCs to see what they’ve said about Helsinki. Be ready to quote what you like or don’t like. If one of your MoCs hasn’t said anything yet, point that out and ask when they will.
Call all three of your MoCs about this, but remember–House members and Senators have different powers, some of which don’t overlap.
Sure, be more passionate and forceful than what you see here but please, don’t actually yell, and don’t use abusive language. It’s July. Odds are interns are answering the phones. They’re just as pissed as you are. If you think you’re going to lose it, write down what you want to say and rehearse it until you can say it while keeping control.
Notice that Pewter does not use the I-word in this script. This is wise, because we’d need 67 Senators to succeed with an impeachment effort, and even now, it’s unclear if we’d have that.
When you call your Senators, you can urge them to urge GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance the bill that protects Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He’s been sitting on it. He never should have sat on it. Time to tell him to quit that shit, and to add protections for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, too.
Charlie Pierce of Esquire suggested it’s time for at least three GOP Senators to stop caucusing with their party, to underline how serious this is. Key quote:
Three Republican senators moving across the aisle shuts everything down. It defangs Mitch McConnell. It would take considerable political courage for Sasse to do this, since he still has political ambitions, but Bob Corker and Jeff Flake both have announced their retirements, and they both have been quite critical about the administration’s antics. Those two literally have nothing to lose. Again, if there’s another constitutional method by which immediately to throw the brakes on the crazy train, I’m wide open to hearing it.
Full article is here:
If you are represented in the Senate by Corker, Flake, Sasse, Murkowski, Collins, McCain, or Graham, it’s worth asking them to do this.
If you have GOP Senators, it’s still worth it. Even if there’s no chance they’ll step away, the fact that constituents are calling to ask for it shows them how serious this is and how angry people are.
Lastly, there were spontaneous protests last night at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., and there will be another there tonight (July 17, 2018) at 7 pm EST. If you live in or near the city, please consider going.
Here’s the script. Scroll down for ways to support Celeste Pewter and her work.
Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above.
You can follow her on Twitter:
You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.
You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:
Subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:
Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!