National Security & Defense

The Corner

The President and Patriotism

President Trump has made a great deal of patriotism, or nationalism: “America First.” “Make America Great Again.” And so on. But sometimes his actions belie his claims to patriotism.

In an interview for Fox News, Bill O’Reilly said to the president, “Putin’s a killer.” The president replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

Now comes news of what President Trump said in the Oval Office to two representatives of the Putin regime: Lavrov, the foreign minister, and Kislyak, the ambassador. They came up through the Soviet ranks. “I’ve known Lavrov for 30 years,” said Senator McCain, “and he’s an old KGB stooge.”

What did President Trump say to the two men? “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” (He also said, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off” — which is quite a statement.)

Say what you will about James Comey: He is a patriotic American and lawman, and the president of the United States trashed him to two representatives of a regime hostile to the United States. Two representatives of an illiberal regime, which imprisons, maims, or kills independent journalists and political opponents; which violates international law; which seeks to disrupt the Western democracies; etc.

This is not patriotism. This is not putting America first. A president, in my view, should not trash his fellow Americans to officials of a government hostile to the U.S. That ought to be 101.

I have had my problems with James Comey. But I’ll sure as hell take him over Putin and his men.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More