Trump is one of Putin's biggest fans, and he can't understand why no one else thinks that's a good thing.
No one thought it was a good idea for Trump to congratulate Russia's Vladimir Putin on his sham re-election. Not that the all-caps instruction from his own advisers — "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" — stopped him from doing exactly that.
And now he is lashing out at just about everyone, from the media to George W. Bush, because of the widespread criticism for being one of the very few world leaders to congratulate Putin on his so-called win.
"I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also). The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him," Trump ranted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
The criticism of Trump's congratulatory call has come not just from the media but from members of his own party and intelligence veterans like former CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan said Wednesday that Trump's call, and his refusal to stand up to Putin, suggests Russia "may have something personally" on Trump.
But Trump has never let facts get in the way of an impetuous Twitter rant.
"They are wrong!" he continued. "Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing. They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race. Bush tried to get along, but didn’t have the 'smarts.' Obama and Clinton tried, but didn’t have the energy or chemistry (remember RESET). PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH!"
Perhaps he has forgotten that Bush, who nicknamed Putin "Pootie-Poot," was also fond of Putin.
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy," Bush once bragged. "I was able to get a sense of his soul."
That, of course, was long before Russia tried to hijack the 2016 presidential election to install Trump in the White House. Which is why even those leaders who might have once thought there was a way to work with Putin have become even more critical since then.
Not Trump, though. He has continued to defend Putin, publicly taking his word over the unanimous conclusion of the United States intelligence community.
And it's Trump's steadfast devotion to Putin that has the rest of the world shaking its collective head about his behavior and questioning what is really between the two — besides "chemistry."