Is Trump really ‘tough’ on Russia?
The Washington Post
To defend himself against charges of collusion, President Trump claims he’s “FAR tougher on Russia” than “any other president,” said former ambassador Michael McFaul. The opposite is actually true. While his administration has taken some tough stands toward Russia, Trump himself has openly disagreed with sanctions and said time and time again that “he wants to be Vladimir Putin’s friend.” The number of gifts Trump has given Putin is jaw-dropping. We recently learned that Trump last year wanted to withdraw the U.S. from NATO—which exists to constrain Russia’s aggression—but was stopped by his top aides. Inexplicably, Trump recently lifted sanctions on companies controlled by oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Putin ally. And when Russia last month brazenly seized two dozen Ukrainian sailors in international waters, Trump said he did not like “what’s happening either way” and failed to demand the sailors’ release or punish Russia. Most egregiously of all, Trump sided with Putin against his own intelligence agencies, saying after a summit in Helsinki that the ex-KGB agent “was extremely strong and powerful” in denying that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. All of this is not “tough.” It’s highly suspicious.