But that was then and this is now, and now we're getting well and solidly into the "We're looking forward, not backward" phase of a Democratic administration that completely refuses to hold its predecessor to account, guaranteeing an even worse administration later this decade.
Ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, congressional Democrats said they are no longer seeking records of former President Donald Trump’s private meetings with the Russian leader, despite previous concerns Trump tried to conceal details of their conversations.
"The Biden administration is looking forward, not back," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., whose panel once considered subpoenaing Trump’s interpreter to testify about his July 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where only an American interpreter was also present.
From 2017 to 2019, amid former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Democrats raised questions about Trump’s conversations with Putin, especially after Trump said in Helsinki, standing next to Putin, that he believed his 2017 denial of election interference, over the findings of U.S. intelligence.
Similar questions were raised after the disclosure of an unplanned conversation with Putin during a G-20 dinner in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019 during which Trump was not accompanied by an interpreter.
He had told reporters beforehand that his private discussions with Putin were "none of your business."
In 2019, the Washington Post reported that the former president went to "extraordinary lengths" to conceal details of his conversations with Putin, leaving some subordinates without a clear record of the world leaders’ interactions.
Rep. Tom Malinowksi, D-N.J., a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who served as an assistant secretary of state in the Obama administration, said details about Trump and Putin’s conversations are "historically very interesting," but less relevant given that Trump "is not shaping US policy towards Russia or anything else."
"At the time, my concern was not so much that the former president and Putin had agreed ... to do something not in our interest, because President Trump would have to tell somebody that," Malinowski said. "It was more the signal that it sent to Putin that Trump wanted to confide in him above his own team."
Foreign policy analysts ABC News spoke with ahead of Biden’s meeting with Putin in Geneva largely downplayed concerns about Trump and Putin’s conversations, and their impact on Wednesday's summit.
"You’d like to have it, but I don’t think it matters much," Ian Bremmer, a political scientist and president of the Eurasia Group, who first reported Trump and Putin’s second meeting at the G-20 in 2017, told ABC News.
And there we are. "Don't think it matters much."
We made this mistake with Obama and Dubya and got Trump. We barely escaped Trump with Biden, and noe Biden is making the same "forward, not backward" mistake.
Our next GOP tyrant will be far, far worse than Trump.