Only President Donald Trump knows why he says what he does.

Lots of times, I wish he would be a little more careful when he’s speaking or tweeting.

The Helsinki summit was  a perfect example.

Some of the things he said made it seem as if he was a big fan of Vladimir Putin. Certainly, Trump didn’t treat Putin like a sworn enemy of the U.S.

This makes me wonder who is advising Trump, or, if Trump just blows off any advice he gets.

That’s because by any objective measure, the Trump administration’s policy toward Russia has been anything but wimpy. It’s at least as tough as any of the previous three administrations, if not tougher.

It’s a case where the policy doesn’t match the namby-pamby rhetoric being spouted by the president. Why does he do that? It’s senseless.

• After the poisoning of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the U.K., the Trump administration in March expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. At that time, the administration condemned Russia’s actions as an "assault on U.K. sovereignty" and a "clear violation" of international law.

• Sanctions were imposed on members of Russia’s elite and their business entities in April, after 13 Russians were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for “malicious cyber-enabled activities” in March.

• Remember this Twitter rant from Trump back in April? “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” He was blasting Russia for supporting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who Trump called a “gas killing animal.” A year earlier, Trump fired 59 tomahawk missiles at Syrian airbases – an act that was condemned by Russia.

• Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, in August 2017. Then he  bypassed a congressionally mandated deadline in January to act on the bill and impose new sanctions on Russia over election tampering allegations.

• Trump approved the largest sale of lethal defense weapons to Ukrainian forces in years in a move widely praised by U.S. and Ukrainian officials. President Barack Obama would only send non-lethal supplies to the Ukraine.

• Trump has taken action to bolster the NATO alliance against Russian influence, including increasing training and drills with U.S. NATO partner nations.





• This year, the defense department plans to increase spending on the European Deterrence Initiative by $1.4 billion.

Now, amid all that, we have Trump in a Helsinki press conference with Putin.

Jonathan Lemire from Associated Press asks this:

A question for each president. President Trump, you first. Just now President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did.

My first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is, would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin — would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?

And Trump says this:

So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the democratic national committee? I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it’s Russia.

I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server (Trump later said he used the wrong word, claiming he meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia”). But I have confidence in both parties. I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone — just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails. So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that president Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Okay thank you.

OK, who is advising this guy? Why would he go on some tangential blather about Hillary Clinton’s email server? Why would he conflate that issue with Russia meddling in a U.S. election? It just makes no sense.

And what’s with the, “So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that president Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today” bit?

What’s that about?

All Trump had to say when asked that question was, “Of course I have confidence in the U.S. intelligence services and I have admonished Mr. Putin to cease and desist from any further hacking or meddling in our electoral processes.”

But he didn’t say that. He went on a rant about Hillary’s server and followed up by giving a certain level of legitimacy to Putin’s denial of election interference.

Of course this drove the left over the edge – and rightly so.

Trump’s press conference performance was called treasonous by some. I don’t know about that, but it was pretty dumb.

The left also likes to say that Putin “must have something on” Trump. I don’t know about that either.

Because if Putin really did have something on Trump, don’t you think he would have called in that marker a while ago? Like after the legislation, sanctions, weapons to Ukraine, missiles to Syria and bolstering of NATO defenses.

Just a couple of days before the press conference, Trump was berating German Chancellor Angela Merkel for buying too much liquid natural gas from Russia. Certainly, that couldn’t have set well with Putin.

As I said before, I just don’t get it. Trump’s policies with regard to Russian clearly don’t match his rhetoric and I’m just not sure why.