President Trump is in Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 meeting on Friday, along with the leaders of 19 other world powers. And the American leader is letting his thoughts be known back home through his usual medium of choice, Twitter. However, rather than tweeting about any of the major issues, like trade deals, climate change, the refugee crisis, or Russian meddling in foreign elections, Trump tweeted claiming G20 leaders were discussing John Podesta and the DNC.
UPDATE: John Podesta responded with a tweetstorm of his own. The former chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign tweeted: "On a x-country road trip with my wife; Pulled in for a pit stop in E. Fairmont W. Va. to see that our whack job POTUS
@realDonaldTrump is tweeting about me at the G20. Get a grip man, the Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected President. Maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to President Putin. BTW, I had nothing to do with the DNC. God only knows what you'll be raving about on twitter by the time we get to Utah. Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20."
EARLIER: "Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!" the president tweeted Friday morning. Of course, there are several inaccuracies in this tweet —Podesta did not work for the Democratic National Committee and had no input over what was done with its servers; he cooperated with the FBI (not the CIA) when his own email was hacked; and then there's the implication Trump still seems to make that any of this disproves the intelligence community's assessment that Russia hacked the DNC's and Podesta's emails.
But perhaps what Twitter found most bizarre is that when all the most powerful people in the world got together, rather than trying to work together on solving the world's most pressing issues, or negotiating over terms in their alliances, they'd talk of nothing else but Trump's domestic scandals and the Democrats in the 2016 election.
Twitter got to work, as only Twitter does, with joke after joke about how world leaders were presumably discussing John Podesta, the most important threat to world stability.
Some jokes were even informative. (Who says fact-checks are boring?)
Philip Rucker, a reporter for The Washington Post, tried to find out how true Trump's tweet was:
Which led to a Toronto Star reporter commenting on how absurd the whole situation has become:
Trump's continued muddying of the waters about hacking in the 2016 election is silly, but for many American political observers, it really just drove home perhaps the most striking thing about Trump's time at the G20 summit — Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, after Putin allegedly directed hacks against both the DNC and John Podesta's email, while still having never condemned that behavior from Russia or expressed concern over the United States' sovereignty and protection of its democratic institutions.
Just a day before, in Poland, Trump continued to cast doubt on his own intelligence officials, saying that "nobody really knows for sure" who hacked the DNC or Podesta emails and that it could have been Russia along with others, despite no one in the U.S. intelligence community having seen any evidence of any other actor being involved. At the G20 summit, Trump is joined by other world leaders who have expressed concern over Russia's growing influence in world affairs, but, as his tweet shows, Trump appeared more bothered by how the media covers the scandal than the cyber-attack on the United States.