Just when things seem to be settling into a somewhat predictable rhythm, President-elect Donald Trump took to social media on Friday to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin for choosing not to retaliate against the United States over sanctions announced this week.
…praise that included characterizing Putin as “very smart.”
“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!” Trump posted on Twitter.
Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin was quick to hit Trump over the remark, tweeting that the president-elect “is siding with America’s greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this.”
To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America's greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this. https://t.co/tNSlkNPBgt
— Evan McMullin 🇺🇸 (@EvanMcMullin) December 30, 2016
Adding to the consternation felt by many Americans, the Russian Embassy in the U.S. retweeted Trump’s message.
The sanctions, which included the expulsion of 35 Russian officials, were imposed by President Barack Obama on Friday in response to Russia interfering in the U.S. election by hacking into the DNC and other key Democratic players.
Here’s a quick sampling of the expected response from critics to Trump’s remark from Twitter:
.@realDonaldTrump you know, you CAN quit. It’s been done before.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) December 30, 2016
@realDonaldTrump You’re supporting a Russian dictator for attacking America. Seriously what is wrong with you?
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 30, 2016
@realDonaldTrump, Russia hacks US institutions and your response is to compliment Vladimir Putin as being “very smart.” #VeryStupidResponse
— Joseph Amodeo (@josephamodeo) December 30, 2016
@realDonaldTrump you’re praising a dictator who has people killed when they oppose him. We see you.
— Maria Mora (@MariaMelee) December 30, 2016
But given the lack of a similar response when former President Bill Clinton said pretty much the same thing exposes the hypocrisy at play from folks blinded by their dislike of Trump.
While speaking at Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai in March 2014, Clinton called Putin “highly intelligent,” Politico reported at the time.
“He is highly intelligent, deeply, deeply patriotic in terms of Russia, but he sees it more in terms of the greatness of the state and the country than what happens to ordinary Russians,” Clinton said of Putin.
Social media user Forrest Taylor was quick to point this out to one critic:
@DanielJFalconer @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/r7iTT8DqW4 Did you say the same about this?
— Forrest Taylor (@FPTI_) December 31, 2016
Here are addition responses, including a few from folks who can envision a worse alternative that Trump saying something complementary about Putin:
@realDonaldTrump He’s got something on you, doesn’t he? RT for “yes.” Don’t worry, we’ll protect you.
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) December 30, 2016
Comrade @realDonaldTrump and Putin sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
— Emily Colucci (@emilycolucci) December 30, 2016
@realDonaldTrump Is your favorite song “Putin On The Ritz”?
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) December 30, 2016
@Peace_Janise @realDonaldTrump Careful Janise you might get labeled “unpatriotic” for being reasonable.
— Philip Seaton (@PRS813) December 31, 2016
@idnov @FoxNews @realDonaldTrump Better to start a war right ?
— Frank Pasiuk (@FPasiuk) December 31, 2016
@FoxNews Once again driving Obama and his entire delusional cabinet down into oblivion. Between Trump and Putin there won’t be a red button
— Jeff Moss (@Eagle999) December 31, 2016
@FoxNews Smart response from Trump. Hes not president yet
— Tim Downs (@Timbolia3691) December 31, 2016
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