- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2018

Analysis continues over President Trump’s summit with Russia President Vladimir Putin earlier this week. Mr. Trump will rebound following that controversial press conference, says Ford O’Connell, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and a former presidential campaign adviser.

“Trump will ultimately rebound from this misstep for two reasons. First, when he makes a political miscalculation, you can usually count on his opponents becoming so unhinged and blinded by their hatred for the president that the White House is able to flip the script so that the bullseye is no longer on Trump’s back, but affixed squarely on his detractors,” Mr. O’Connell told The Washington Times.

“This time is no different. Within 96 hours of the Trump-Putin meeting, John Brennan, a former CIA director under Obama, labeled the president’s actions as ‘nothing short of treasonous,’ Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee seemed to promote a military coup to remove Trump from office and a former Watergate prosecutor and Carter aide has compared the president’s comments to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht. You can’t make this stuff up and the folks uttering these words are not exactly your run-of-the-mill loons,” he continued.

“Second, luckily for Trump there is a difference between words versus actions. Action-wise, Trump has been tougher on Russia than former president Obama or even Bush 43. From the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats following the poisoning in Britain, to the countless sanctions levied on Russia to the sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, to increased U.S. oil production, to calls for more NATO defense spending, Trump has been extremely tough on Russia. To say otherwise just isn’t true,” the analyst said.

“The challenge for Trump is to drive home the second point, because polling indicates that the American public is largely unaware of the actions he has taken towards Russia in an effort to thwart Putin’s many transgressions. If Trump and his allies are successful on this front, the Trump-Putin summit will be a faint memory by the all-important 2018 midterm elections,” said Mr. O’Connell, who is also author of the book “Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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