Do any of you remember seeing or hearing anything mentioned about an international security agreement negotiated yesterday in Helsinki?
Russian MoD says it's "ready to activate contacts with US colleagues via general staffs and other existing communication channels to discuss extending Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, cooperation in Syria, other current issues of ensuring military security."
— Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) July 17, 2018
Yeah, me neither! Also, Congress neither!
The American people deserve to know what in the world our President just agreed to do. And the Congress must demand hearings. https://t.co/p3NbL6lUSn
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) July 17, 2018
As I wrote yesterday morning, one of the major concerns for yesterday’s summit was the President attempting the grand bargain that was put together by the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Emiratis – after consulting with Putin – that they think will get Iran out of Syria and contained within its own borders. It wouldn’t and that bargain would be an international security disaster. This Russian MOD announcement demonstrates the problem that everyone was focusing on in the run up to yesterday’s meetings in Helsinki; because the President had an initial one on one meeting with Putin without any notetakers or advisors present, there is no official US record of what was discussed or what was agreed to. I don’t think anyone who is not a firm supporter of the President is naive enough to believe that Putin didn’t record the meeting. So the Russians are now free to either release bits of those recordings or to make whatever statements they want and there is no official US record of the meeting that can be used to contradict them or push back on them. And, as was the case with the Singapore summit, the President doesn’t seem to understand that the technical terms that get used at these types of meetings not only are interpreted differently by others, so it is important to get them specifically defined in order to avoid having him and/or his advisors and aides stating X was agreed to and having the other side state, using the same language and terminology, that Y was agreed to. And X and Y are diametrically opposed to each other.