Now We See What ‘Getting Along Better With Russia’ Looks Like
Nikki Haley claimed yesterday that Trump has Russia off balance.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 14, 2017
One narrative you heard post the Syria strikes is that this proves Trump isn’t in the tank with Putin. And indeed, you heard folks like Rex Tillerson claim that relations between the US and Russia are the worst since the Cold War.
Some argued this proved there was no Trump Russia collusion as Trump clearly did something Putin didn’t like. A few responses:
1. Nixon also double crossed Anne Chennault and Diem after they killed LBJ’s peace talks in 1968 assuring Nixon of victory. So it’s always possible to help someone steal an election and then get double crossed.
2. Some in fact wondered if the attack was in some way a false flag. There were some pretty conflicting stories out of Trump, Putin, and Assad about what really happened both in the initial alleged chemical attack and the subsequent US response.
3. But even if Trump really ticked Putin off in Syria, you can’t help but notice that the Russians didn’t look too off balance last week in the Oval Office.
— ((Molly Jong-Fast)) (@MollyJongFast) May 14, 2017
So there you go: Trump and the infamous Sisylak-who offered Carter Page a 19% stake in Rosnet in exchange for changing the GOP platform on Ukraine and the same Sisylak Michael Flynn was on the phone with five times the day Obama imposed new Russian sanctions for interfering in our election.
Politico called it Russia’s Oval Office Victory Dance and it came the day after the Comey firing.
“When President Donald Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office on Wednesday just hours after firing the FBI director who was overseeing an investigation into whether Trump’s team colluded with the Russians, he was breaking with recent precedent at the specific request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“The chummy White House visit—photos of the president yukking it up with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry since no U.S. press was allowed to cover the visit—had been one of Putin’s asks in his recent phone call with Trump, and indeed the White House acknowledged this to me later Wednesday. “He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to,” a White House spokesman said of Trump’s Lavrov meeting. “Putin did specifically ask on the call when they last talked.”
“The meeting was Lavrov’s first in the White House since 2013—and came after several years of the Obama administration’s flat-out refusal to grant him an Oval Office audience, two former senior White House officials told me. “The Russians were begging us for years to do that,” one of the former officials said. “They were constantly pushing for it and we were constantly saying no.”
“The images of Trump putting his arm genially on Lavrov’s back—and a later White House official readout of the meeting that said Trump “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia”—couldn’t have come at a more fraught political moment for Trump, amid a barrage of bipartisan criticism of his firing of FBI Director James Comey. On Wednesday morning before meeting with Trump, Lavrov even cracked a joke about his hosts’ political predicament, laughingly claiming not to have heard of the Comey firing while standing alongside Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.”
“In other words, Lavrov was right where he has always wanted to be Wednesday: mocking the United States while being welcomed in the Oval Office by the president himself.”
“Russia’s longest-serving foreign minister of the post-Cold War era, Lavrov has worked alongside Putin since 2004 with a single-minded goal: to make Russia great again—and all the better if he could do so at America’s expense. So, for Lavrov and Putin, the scene was more than just a bizarre moment of Washington political theater in which they played walk-on roles. It was vindication, proof that their tilt toward Trump after years of tense dealings with two successive American presidents could yet pay off.”
I met with them because Putin asked me to. The timing was too perfect which makes me skeptical it was a coincidence. What I don’t get is how anyone can still believe in the power of coincidence now of all times when we’re through the Looking Glass with Alice in a Tom Clancy novel run amok.
I feel that this was defiance on Trump’s part: Yes, I fired the guy investigating me and now I’m going to spike the ball by embracing Putin’s flaks right in the Oval Office.
Some Bernie Bros as well as the Trumpsters naively repeat Trump it really would be nice if we could get along with Russia.
Now we know what that looks like.
And all this the GOP is enabling. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan tacitly are saying this is ok. They have come the party of treason:
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.