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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, July 19, 2018

President Donald Trump speaks to the media Tuesday

President Donald Trump speaks to the media Tuesday in the White House. Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

It’s remarkable how history can change on one word [“Trump: I misspoke on Russia,” News, July 18]! Perhaps other parts of history are based on mistakes, too.

Imagine that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt really said, “I do NOT declare war on Germany,” or “a day that will NOT live in infamy.”

Perhaps British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meant to say, “We shall NOT fight on the beaches, we shall NOT fight on the landing grounds . . .”

Jim Brennan, Rocky Point

When asked in Helsinki whether he believed U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia].” Later in a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said, “Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

If you substitute the president’s “walk-back” first sentence — “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia” — the “extremely strong and powerful” denial sentence becomes a complete non sequitur. The two sentences taken together are nonsensical.

I believe the president’s comments in Helsinki were exactly what he wanted to say, and he should be called out on it.

Paul M. Eckstein, Bayside

Whether I am a Donald Trump supporter or not is immaterial, but like many others, on both the left and right, I am extremely unhappy with his performance during the Helsinki summit. He did not perform well and made some outrageous comments.

I hear the word “treason” being used to describe that performance, which I believe is absolutely at the extreme end of ridiculous. It is a hysterical attempt to eliminate a president that some believe should not have become president.

He was wrong with what he said, but not treasonous. Was President Barack Obama referred to as treasonous when was caught on video telling outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2012 that he would have “more flexibility” after the election. Flexibility to do what? No one dared, nor was it warranted, to use the term treasonous, which I am sure Obama was not.

Why now would Trump be described as treasonous? No act was committed, words were exchanged. There is only one answer, which is the obsession of some to eliminate this president as soon as possible. In case they don’t realize it, they will have that opportunity in 2020!

Vincent F. Pellitteri, Upper Brookville

People are using the words treasonous and traitorous to describe President Donald Trump’s comments about our intelligence agencies. Really?

Some agencies’ leaders have shown hatred for Trump and there is evidence from FBI agent Peter Strzok that he helped Hillary Clinton while trying to destroy Trump (“We’ll stop him.”).

A dossier from a former British spy was used to start investigating Trump. Where was the CIA when Russia was doing all this meddling? This is the same CIA that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Trump should not trust them but he should not trust Russian President Vladimir Putin. As President Ronald Reagan said, the then-Soviet Union was an “evil empire,” and as Mitt Romney said in 2012, Russia is our biggest geopolitical foe.

Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush never talked tough with Putin and we survived.

Trump’s actions will speak louder than his words.

Gregg Freedner, Ronkonkoma

President Donald Trump took Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over his own intelligence agencies, which have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Now, he changed his mind because of bad press, not fake news. He admits there was meddling, but it did not impact the election. I do not fear China, North Korea, Russia, or any other country. I do fear Trump.

Martin Blumberg, Melville

Now that we know for certain that Donald Trump is taking Russia’s side in the hacking of the 2016 election, who in Congress will step up and denounce him for the traitor that he is.

As he stood side-by-side with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump denied Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It was as if they were close friends working together to defend Russia against U.S. intelligence agencies and the American people. This is a crisis requiring Congress to take steps to protect us against our own president.

Members of Congress cannot hide their heads in the sand and pretend that this is normal.

Jennifer Bryer, Hewlett