So, the WaPo, behaving in the mold of the careful NYT, headline reads:
"Trump offers little pushback to Putin's denial of interference"
CNN betrays its own problems reporting the facts with:
"An unprecedented refusal to believe his own intelligence agencies"
We do not know and can not know what another person believes. We only know what they say they believe. A person may lie. A person guilty of substantial wrongdoing is likely to deliberately lie. The strong possibility, nay, the likelihood that Trump has betrayed his country and, of course, knows that he and his team have worked with Russian for a long time means that he needs to deny the findings of the U.S. intelligence agencies in order to cut off all serious discussion of Russian operatives efforts to undermine democracy. After all, it's not just intelligence agencies at this point. The Department of Justice continues to issue indictments of Russians who have acted against the interests of the United States. That "unprecedented refusal to believe his own intelligence agencies" is old, old news at this point.
The dramatic breaking news that these organizations hold so dear, yet recoil from when the news is so astounding, is that Trump, fresh off his meeting with leaders of NATO countries who he attacked with ferocity, soon after meeting with G7 in Canada, whose leaders he also attacked, cozied up to Putin in Helsinki.
Even in their editorial Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly (granted, that title's an improvement), WaPo pulls their punches. Just because the truth is so shocking - that's my guess for this behaviot.
Twice in the editorial, WaPo tells us what Trump "appeared" to do. Think of the logic to that. He spoke openly and plainly. Yet, his statements can only be appearances.
"Mr. Trump appeared to align himself with the Kremlin against American law enforcement before the Russian ruler and a global audience."
If he only "appeared" to align himself with Putin, what is the source of the doubt? Was it something he said?
"As Mr. Trump apparently sees it, Russia’s invasions of Ukraine and Georgia, war crimes in Syria, poison attack in Britain and the shooting down of a Malaysian civilian airliner over Ukraine are morally equivalent to the policies pursued by previous U.S. administrations."
Here we mix two prevalent flaws of mainstream media - shying away from accurate statements that would, if written, directly report an outrage by a politician, and, on a related note, telling us what a politician believes, even though we can not know what a person believes.
WaPo continues later in the editorial, "Incredibly, Mr. Trump appeared to endorse a cynical suggestion by Mr. Putin that Mr. Mueller’s investigators be granted interviews with a dozen Russian intelligence officers indicted in the DNC hack in exchange for Russian access to associates of William Browder, a financier whose exposure of high-level corruption and human rights crimes in Moscow led to the adoption by Congress of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on those responsible. Mr. Putin’s citation of bogus Russian charges against Mr. Browder was matched by Mr. Trump’s garbled reference to “the Pakistani gentleman” who was falsely alleged by right-wing conspiracy theorists to be behind the leak of DNC emails."
Again, WaPo insists on reporting what Mr. Trump "appears" to be doing, yet, if they are so intent on reporting appearances, why not report that Mr. Trump appears to be acting as an agent of a foreign country, against U.S. foreign policy interests? Unfortunately, that reticence creates a loophole that Trumpian lackey propaganda outlets are happy to exploit.