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Putin Denies. Trump Accepts. Do You?

The New York Times logo The New York Times 5 days ago
Vladimir Putin wearing a suit and tie: President Trump with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Saturday. © Jorge Silva/Reuters President Trump with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Saturday.

To the Editor:

Re “Putin’s Denials of Interference Satisfy Trump” (front page, Nov. 12):

George W. Bush’s straight line that he looked President Vladimir Putin in the eye and got a sense of his soul set up Colin Powell’s punch line that when he looked Mr. Putin in the eye, he saw K.G.B.

President Trump’s willingness to accept Mr. Putin’s denial means one of two things. Either Mr. Trump is a rube who believes that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election, or a cynic playing to a base that accepts his lies as gospel.

Our founding fathers knew firsthand the dangers of monarchy and built checks and balances designed to make change difficult. Never before have I feared that our founders didn’t go far enough.

To think that Mr. Trump may either be complicit in Russian interference, or too vain or stupid to recognize it, is enough to question whether the presidency comes with too much power.

JAY MARKOWITZ, NEW YORK

To the Editor:

In the past week we learned from President Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, that the Russians offered to send five women to Mr. Trump’s hotel room during his visit in 2013 (“Trump Aide Says He Rebuffed Offer of Women in Moscow,” news article, Nov. 11). Mr. Schiller says he declined the offer. A former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, suggested in his dossier that there was a prurient bedroom scene at Mr. Trump’s hotel videotaped by Russian intelligence.

Who, other than Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and a few others, knows the truth? All we can ask after Mr. Trump’s disgraceful performance this weekend pandering to the Russian strongman is why, if Mr. Putin has no compromising material on him, does Mr. Trump continue to behave as though he does.

DAVID PAUL, BOULDER, COLO.

To the Editor:

What a brilliant idea to ease congestion in our courts and reduce prison overcrowding. Just ask those accused of crimes if they did it, and if they say they absolutely did not, we release them. Problem solved. Congratulations, Mr. President.

JOSEPH C. KAPLAN, TEANECK, N.J.

To the Editor:

Most bullies are cowards. Donald Trump’s acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s denials of election tampering are easy to explain. Our president lacks the requisite courage to stand up to Mr. Putin, look him in the eye, and accuse him of what we all know to be true. Tough guy Trump finds it easy to call people names and denigrate those less powerful than he is, but standing up to people like Mr. Putin is beyond him.

RICHARD W. POETON

BENNINGTON, VT.

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