Category: Russia

Trump will blame anyone for anything — except Russia for its conduct

Trump will blame anyone for anything — except Russia for its conduct

The Washington Post
By Jennifer Rubin
Image courtesy of Evan Vucci/Associated Press

President Trump tweeted, “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!” White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, you see, cannot prevent the president from revealing his self-delusions and own ignorance. Once again, we see Trump’s inability to recognize the danger posed to us by Russia and, worse, his own conduct in forcing Congress to act on its own initiative.

For starters, Russia brought this on itself by meddling in our elections and those of our European allies, invading neighbors, backing the murderous Syrian regime and engaging in domestic repression. Trump refuses to take issue with all that or to acknowledge that such conduct is contrary to U.S. interests. By blaming Congress, he once again does Russian President Vladimir Putin’s water-carrying. Blaming the West and casting Russia as the innocent victim come straight from the Russian propaganda playbook.

Trumps prefers not only to avoid identifying or punishing Russia but also shows no interest in protecting American democracy. Numerous intelligence officials have testified before Congress in open session that Trump has never asked them about Russian cyberespionage or anti-Western propaganda. Think about it. Trump will not acknowledge, let alone do something about the tactics of our chief international foe. He prefers that Congress do nothing — just appease and avoid Russia’s ire. That’s the sort of attitude conservatives in Congress and in the foreign policy community would have virulently criticize President Barack Obama for adopting (and did).

The question then presents itself: Is the president willing to counter an identified threat to U.S. national security, and will his administration follow the law in staffing and developing programs to do just that? So far the answer to both is “no.”

White House tries to get G.O.P. to water down Russia sanctions bill

From The New York Times — Written by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Matt Flegenheimer

The White House is quietly lobbying House Republicans to weaken a bill overwhelmingly passed by the Senate last week that would slap tough new sanctions on Russia for its meddling in the 2016 election and allow Congress to block any future move by President Trump to lift any penalties against Moscow.

The effort is designed to head off an awkward and politically damaging veto fight between the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress on Russia at a time when Mr. Trump is laboring under the shadow of multiple investigations about his campaign’s potential collusion with Moscow.

House Republicans, normally hawkish on Russia, face a choice between demonstrating a hard line against Moscow in the face of its misconduct and sparing their own president a potentially embarrassing confrontation.

On Tuesday, Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, lodged a procedural objection that effectively halted the measure in the House, and could force it to be redrafted.

But there is bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for insisting on harsh sanctions on Russia, whose meddling in the 2016 election has only reinforced many lawmakers’ disdain for its president, Vladimir V. Putin, and it is not yet clear whether the White House can muster enough support in Congress to change the measure. Democrats are intensifying pressure on House Republicans to quickly clear the bill, part of a package that was appended to sanctions against Iran, that passed the Senate last week by a vote of 98 to 2.