Before he embarked on a week of transatlantic diplomacy, President Trump sat down with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who previewed for the boss an explosive development: The Justice Department would soon indict 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democratic emails to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
For the first time, the United States would be charging Russian government agents with planning and executing a sustained cyberattack to disrupt America’s democratic process. Yet Trump gave no sign in his commentary in Europe this week that he appreciated the magnitude of what he had been told was coming.
Instead, he repeated his frequent attacks on the integrity of the wide-ranging Russia probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — while offering kind words for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he is slated to meet here in Helsinki on Monday. [Continue reading…]