CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali predicted that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin may have overplayed his hand by publicly humiliating President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Helsinki summit.
“What do you make of the fact that it seems President Trump is allowing Russia to dictate the conversation and the consequences from it at this point?” CNN anchor Christi Paul asked the historian.
“The Russians are not 12 feet tall, they make mistakes,” Naftali explained. “What they’re doing at the moment is they’re controlling the narrative about the meeting and the effect of that is that they are actually humiliating President Trump.”
Naftali is a professor a New York University and previously served as director of the Nixon Presidential Library.
“So why is [Trump] letting [Putin] do it?” Paul asked. “Why didn’t he come out and say more?”
“I think the last week was additional evidence that President Trump is not a particularly strong foreign leader,” Naftali answered. “He’s very — he’s a battering ram with our own allies — but with adversaries, he allows them to dictate the narrative, look what he has done with North Korea.”
“The Russians have Trump exactly where they’d like to have him, which is that he needs them more than they need him,” he continued.
“This has been a terrible week for American foreign policy, but I suspect the Russians may have overplayed their hand this past week, they have humiliated Trump, he may react badly to that,” Naftali concluded.