Call me old-fashioned but I don't think a United States president should repeatedly attack his own country whilst standing on foreign soil.
Particularly not when he's sharing the stage with the man who - it has been accepted by Republicans and Democrats alike - ordered his Russian intelligence agencies to attack our presidential election.
Donald Trump's Helsinki summit will live in infamy as the moment when the sheer scale of his abasement before Vladimir Putin was finally revealed not just to the United States but to the world.
Its aftermath will also mark the moment the Republican Party decided to follow him right off a cliff of apparent treachery.
No president has ever attacked his own country and its intelligence agencies on foreign soil whilst sharing the stage with our nation's most formidable enemy. But rather than defend the United States against all those who would threaten it, Trump attacked his own citizens and institutions.
To the sound of loud gasps from American journalists in the room, Trump repeatedly attacked all the proven findings of our intelligence agencies whilst sharing the stage with a smiling Putin. And rather than challenging Putin for Russia's meddling in our 2016 presidential election, Trump praised this former KGB agent to the rafters, and without reservation.
In fact, his performance was so prostrate and inimical to American interests and foreign policy goals that even the most sober observers now have to seriously wonder what exactly Russia has over him?
In his increasingly desperate effort to combat any suggestion that the Russians had aided his election in 2016, Trump threw the F.B.I. and other U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies under the bus in the most unprecedented manner.
First Trump condemned the Justice Department’s investigation of his campaign’s ties to Russia as a “disaster for our country.”
Then he absurdly suggested the F.B.I. had deliberately mishandled its investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to aid Hillary Clinton.
Then he called the F.B.I. agent, who testified about that investigation before Congress, a “disgrace to our country.”
Putin, famously, has a world class poker face, but on Monday even he looked like he couldn't believe his luck as Trump stood next to him trashing his own intelligence agencies and praising Russia.
Putin has many prominent political enemies and critics of course, but those political enemies and critics have an alarming habit of ending up dead, with press freedom and hope intended to die alongside them. It has become apparent to most now that this is the exact model of leadership that Trump admires.
Our intelligence agencies are in no doubt about who Putin is and what he represents, but our current president clearly doesn't care. Trump told the press on Monday that he had no reason not to believe Putin when he said that the Russians did not try to fix the 2016 election.
That makes him the lone holdout, the only senior politician in America to reject the findings of his own people.
Dan Rather, one of America's most unflappable journalists, was appalled by what he was witnessing: “The President of the United States trusts the word of a former KGB agent over the consensus of the American intelligence community backed by a ton of facts. That is a shocking reality. Everyone who excuses Trump’s behavior must answer that now, and when history inevitably judges.”
History didn't wait, though. Moments after the shocking press conference concluded CNN's Anderson Cooper called it “perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president” at a summit with a Russian leader that he had ever seen.
Columnist Ruth Marcus got straight to the point, tweeting: “Everyone who works for Trump: quit now. Save your souls. Save your honor. Save your reputation. Russia attacked our democracy. He doesn’t care, won’t defend our country.”
My advice. Any takers? https://t.co/JfdN7liXSV— Ruth Marcus (@RuthMarcus) July 16, 2018
Perhaps most alarmingly of all former CIA director John Brennan tweeted: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Only one person was credited with a political win on Monday. Asked point blank by a reporter did he want Trump to win the election and did he direct any of his officials to help him do that?
Putin replied, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did.”
Pretty definitive. It doesn't get any clearer than that. The question is now, what are we going to do about it?
What did you make of the summit? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section, below.