How Did Trump Do vs. Putin? Here's What Media Are Saying
Praise from CNN's Gergen but NYT's Kristof muses if Putin 'had Trump for lunch'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2017 10:18 AM CDT
President Trump got mixed reviews in his first meeting with Vladimir Putin.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – How did President Trump do at his first meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, which the Wall Street Journal says was hyped by the media "into virtually the second coming of the Reykjavik Summit?" Though the Journal gives the prez a thumbs up, reaction in other quarters of editorial land was decidedly mixed.

  • Wall Street Journal: The editors said the sit-down had but one purpose from Putin's end: "to discover if he will be able to press Russian interests forward without significant pushback" from Trump. How did Trump measure up in the Russian's eyes? "We can't guess, " the paper says, but Trump's pressing of Putin about hacking in the November election is a "new element in the Trump equation." By raising the issue, the president "made clear to Vlad that he’ll be dealing with the President of all the American people. That sounds like a positive outcome."
  • Politico: In a column, Molly K. McKew rapped Trump for signaling the US will "move on" from the hacking controversy "with no accountability or consequences for Russia" but with a pledge to work jointly on cybersecurity. She also takes issue with two points: an agreement to not meddle in the other's doings on the homefront., and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's observation that the Russian strategy in Syria was maybe "more right" than the US approach. "Each of these points represents a significant victory for Putin," she writes.

  • CNN: Commentator David Gergen praised Trump's performance, saying he "seemed presidential" and calling it "big-league stuff." He adds, "This seemed like we were back to normal life for the first time, one of the only times in the last few months. This is what we expect from our president." He adds that "We may agree or disagree with the particulars, but we want our president to show leadership and be at a presidential level."
  • New York Times: In a column headlined, "Did Putin Have Trump for Lunch," columnist Nicholas Kristof said he doesn't "begrudge" Trump's warm handshake with Putin but bristled at Trump "getting lovey-dovey" with a man involved in election hacking in two countries and the invasion of Ukraine, among other points. As for the deal with Syria, where Russia has "helped the slaughter civilians," Kristof writes, "It’s great that Trump and Putin reached an agreement that may help Syria, but let’s see whether it translates to advances on the ground." He says the "really important issue" is North Korea, and Trump "still doesn’t seem to have a strategy to deal with it."

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