This is why Trump never speaks ill of Putin

Don’t rule out the possibility that the White House leak that set the media aflame in foolish suppositions this week came from Mr. Trump himself. That would be the leak saying he ignored his staff’s advice not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his sham election victory.

After all, who delights in letting us know that he defies the advice of his establishment advisers? Who believes and has told us repeatedly that his personal-relationship prowess is the solution to America’s toughest problems?

And who put the call to Mr. Putin on his schedule in the first place?

Let’s pause here to say that some politicians have been politicians for too long, and in the wrong way, if they think chiding a foreign dictator about democracy over the phone somehow advances U.S. interests. It is only done for U.S. domestic political consumption. Let’s stop lying to ourselves about this.

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Holman W. Jenkins Jr. is a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. He writes the twice-weekly "Business World" column that appears on the paper's op-ed page on Wednesdays and Saturdays.