Last night's National Security Forum seems to have revealed little new other than a re-enforcing of the Trump-Putin bromance and that Trump wants to sharply increase military spending - at the unspoken expense of social and infrastructure spending. Trump again lied about his support for the Iraq War notwithstanding recorded evidence to the contrast. With respect to Putin, I suspect Trump would love to emulate Russia's corrupt and oppressive regime, particularly Putin's control of the press and airwaves, the murder of Putin's political opponents and the manner in which Putin cronies rape and pillage Russia to enrich themselves at the expense of the Russian people. A piece in the Washington Post looks at the events at the forum. Here are highlights:
Donald Trump defended his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin at a forum here Wednesday focused on national security issues, even suggesting that Putin is more worthy of his praise than President Obama.
The Republican presidential nominee said that an alliance with Russia would help defeat the Islamic State, and when asked to defend some of Putin’s aggressions on the world stage, he asked, “Do you want me to start naming some of the things Obama does at the same time?”
Trump also said he appreciated some of the kind words Putin has had for him. “Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I think I’ll take the compliment, okay?”
Clinton offered herself as a model of “absolute rock steadiness” on foreign policy, and Trump promised to be a disruptive force for improvement, saying that under Obama even the military’s generals have been “reduced to rubble.”
He reaffirmed his view that having men and women serve alongside one another is the root of the military’s sexual-assault problem. He said recent intelligence briefings have convinced him that Clinton and other Obama administration officials did not heed the advice of experts. And he praised Putin, noting among other things the Russian president’s “82 percent approval rating.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s forum, Trump delivered a speech in Philadelphia in which he called for a robust expansion of U.S. military capabilities and an end to budget sequestration on defense spending.
Trump said he was not a fan of the Russian system of government but predicted continued good relations with Putin, saying: “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin, and I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.”
Trump denied that mutual admiration between him and the Russian leader would benefit Russia in its dealings with the United States.
Trump leads Clinton by 19 points — 55 percent to 36 percent — among voters who are serving or have served in the U.S. military, according to the NBC News/SurveyMonkey tracking poll.
The demographics of military veterans align closely with Trump’s strongest sources of support. More than 9 in 10 are men, and about 8 in 10 are white. In 2012, among military veterans, Republican Mitt Romney bested Obama by about 20 points, according to exit polls.
On Tuesday, Trump announced that he has been endorsed by 88 retired senior military officials. Not to be outdone, Clinton released a list Wednesday showing the support of 95 retired generals and admirals, more than any recent nonincumbent Democrat, her campaign said. Meanwhile, Clinton noted that Trump’s endorsement figure was more than 400 shy of the last Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.