Trump, Tougher On Putin Than Obama

Sebastian Gorka goes through a few items that is evidence against the idea that Trump is a Russian asset.

If you think Russia spent money to get Trump in office, that was the biggest waste of money in history.

    1. This admin reversed the policy of the Obama administration, which stood silently when Putin’s Russia annexed Crimea and attacked Ukraine. The Trump admin has sold the Ukrainians lethal defensive weaponry, including anti-tank missiles designed to destroy Putin’s Russian tanks in the hands of separatist rebels. (THE HILL)
    2. The Trump administration has expelled 60 Russians, labeling them “spies” pretending to be diplomats. (DAILY WIRE)
    3. About 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm (many were Russian special operatives) were either killed (about 200) or injured in Syria on orders from the Trump administration (WASHINGTON TIMES)
    4. Now, President Donald Trump approved sanctions on 38 different Russian companies and entities in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, its presence in Ukraine, and support for the Assad regime in Syria. These entities include 7 Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they own and control, 17 Russian senior government officials, and a state owned Russian weapons trading company…. even sanctioning a member of Putin’s family. (DAILY CALLER)
    5. President Trump is pressuring Germany to stop paying Russia BILLIONS of dollars a year via the gas-pipeline deal (YOUTUBE).
    6. Donald Trump employed jawboning to persuade, arm-twist, and threaten NATO member-states if they didn’t raise the level of their spending on defense…. “by the end of next year, NATO allies will add hundred – 100 billion extra U.S. dollars toward defense.” (FOX)
    7. The Obama Administration worked unsuccessfully to persuade the Kremlin to stand down the program through diplomatic talks. The Trump Administration, in contrast, directly confronted the violation by funding development of its own missile. The research is allowed under the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), and only breaches the deal if that missile is ever tested or deployed (TIME). “We’ll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let’s really get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it, and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable,” Trump told reporters (DAILYWIRE).
    8. After Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, US exports to Russia that could have military uses — so-called dual use technologies, are cut off completely (CNN)
    9. President Trump signed an executive order to improve America’s critical infrastructure against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. (EPOCH TIMES)
    10. President Donald Trump called on Russia to pull its troops out of Venezuela on March 27, following reports that two Russian military planes touched down in Caracas over the weekend with about 100 soldiers aboard. “Russia has to get out,”…. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned Russia on Friday about its military presence in Venezuela, saying any move to establish or expand operations there would be considered a “direct threat” to international peace.(EPOCH TIMES | REUTERS)

Here is HUGH HEWITT noting some of the above and more:

Hell of a mole who gets sequester rolled back so DOD can rebuild,  demands NATO increase defense spending, provides lethal weapons to Ukraine, has American military wipe out a Russian force of irregulars in Syria, and urges Russia pipeline to Germany be cancelled (Hewitt: TWITTER) | The @realDonaldTrump-as-Russian-mole theory also must include that he has successfully fooled fmr SecDef Mattis, @SecPompeo @AmbJohnBolton.  Helluva spy.

If Putin paid for Trump, Trump is a smart mother-effer, because he first used Russian interests to get the White House, and then immediately turned on Russia’s interests.

Putin, then, is an idiot, and Trump? The smart-as-hell-tactician.

THE ENTIRE 3-HOURS is magnificent. I wish all Republicans pushed back like this. The truth is on our side!

THE FEDERALIST updated this post:

“Just Like Obama, Trump’s Russia Policy Speaks Louder Than His Words”

….The Helsinki summit did not change my view of the Russian president. As I have reiterated many times, Putin is pure evil. There is no doubt in my mind that U.S. intelligence agencies arrived at the correct conclusion: Russia did meddle in the U.S. 2016 election, and Putin himself directed the operation. Again, I speak from personal experience on this topic: In 2012, Russian intelligence services interfered in the Georgian parliamentary elections, boosting the Kremlin’s preferred candidate through disinformation operations.

Thus, my opinion of President Trump’s policy vis-à-vis Russia is perhaps more positive than one might assume from my background. My reasoning is two-fold: After a lifetime of firsthand experience with Russian aggression, I must evaluate Trump’s actions against the proper historical context. In doing so, I have found that Trump’s actions speak for themselves.

The Outrage Seems Selective

On the first point, I consider it unfair that Trump’s performance in Helsinki has garnered harsher criticism than other incidents in recent memory. In 2012, for example, a hot microphone at a global nuclear security summit picked up then-President Barack Obama assuring Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” to negotiate with Putin after the presidential election.

During a debate with GOP opponent Mitt Romney the same year, Obama casually dismissed the Russian threat, quipping: “The 1980s called; they want their foreign policy back.” Although Trump could certainly have been more forceful by condemning Putin’s crimes, his statements at the Helsinki press conference were nowhere near as concerning as his predecessor’s remarks about Russia.

This brings me to my second point: Trump’s actions toward Russia speak louder than words—and so did his predecessor’s. Indeed, the Obama administration’s foreign policy undermined America’s credibility in my region, which Putin considers Russia’s “backyard.” There are many opinions about Trump’s rhetoric on Crimea, but it is a fact that the Russian land grab in Ukraine happened on Obama’s watch.

How, exactly, did this happen? During and after Ukraine’s revolution of 2014, which ousted a Kremlin-backed dictator, on a daily basis the United States cautioned Ukraine not to escalate in response to Russian aggression. Thus, Putin saw an opportunity to annex Crimea without risking a direct confrontation with the West—and he seized it. Putin is a bully, but not a fool.

What a Difference Two Years Makes

Rather than changing his course after Moscow redrew the borders of Europe by force, Obama doubled down. Despite bipartisan consensus in favor of selling lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, and vocal support from his own administration officials (including Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton), Obama repeatedly refused to authorize the sales.

Instead of anti-tank weapons, the Ukrainians defending their territory from Russian invasion received hot blankets and canned goods from the Obama administration. At the same time, Obama asserted that the Ukraine conflict had “no military solution.” With these words—and more importantly, these actions—he was perceived by some on the Russian side as accepting the Kremlin’s sphere of influence in Ukraine.

Despite my warnings, the Obama administration also essentially turned a blind eye to Russian meddling in Georgia’s 2012 elections. The result was devastating not only for Georgia, but for American interests: A Kremlin-backed oligarch (who has substantial interests in Russian energy firm Gazprom) ascended to power in a strategic U.S. ally. Moreover, Russia’s meddling in Georgia’s elections functioned as a proving ground for information operations later used in the United States. To his credit, Obama accepted this reality in 2016, when he expelled dozens of Russian diplomats, but this response was too little, too late.

By contrast, Trump authorized the sale of lethal defensive weapons to both Ukraine and Georgia in 2017. The Trump administration went beyond the congressional mandate in sanctioning Russian authorities involved in the annexation of Crimea. Earlier this year, the United States imposed the harshest sanctions yet, targeting Russian oligarchs as well as government officials.

Trump’s rhetoric on energy at the Helsinki summit, which has been largely overlooked, is also a reason for optimism. The backbone of the Russian economy is energy, and Russia’s dependence on fossil fuels is Putin’s Achilles heel. At Monday’s press conference, Trump stated that U.S. liquefied natural gas exports would “compete” with Russian gas in Europe. This reflects Trump’s comments at the NATO summit, where he criticized Germany for supporting the Nord Stream II pipeline. Trump was correct to call attention to this project, which will enrich the Kremlin at the expense of struggling pro-Western allies like Ukraine…..


Stuff That Didn’t Age Well


If there was one thing I have learned over the years of attacks against Bush over eight years, and now Trump… the rule of thumb is to wait about a week (or more) for the truth of the situation to come out. This is a prime example. Many who have a visceral hatred for Trump immediately jump on the band wagon [just like BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome — there is TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrome]… and… the below meme is a prime example.

During conversation with a Facebook friend about a meme posted regarding the Dianne Feinstein with Attorney General Bill Barr, I linked the FULL exchange to the exchange. After some talk, the below meme was posted:

Not a day after he posted the above, a writer I check in with daily had this post, entitled: “NBC NEWS MAKES CORRECTION TO TRUMP-PUTIN STORY.” In it she notes:

After incorrectly reporting that President Trump had discussed former White House counsel Don McGhan’s potential testimony in the House with Russian President Vladimir Putin, NBC News was forced to issue a correction:

CORRECTION (May 3,2019, 1:51 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article incorrectly included one topic that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Presidents Trump and Putin discussed on Friday. They did not discuss the possibility of former White House counsel Don McGahn appearing before Congress. Sanders was answering a question from reporters about whether McGahn would testify before Congress.

HILARIOUS. I bet “unnamed sources” are at the center of this story. You can add this to the TRUMP IS CHUMMY WITH PUTIN conspiracy the Left and NeverTrumpers have:

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the U.S. has a full range of options available to help oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and didn’t rule out “ultimately” using military action on top of diplomatic, political and other pressure points.

“We’re preparing those for him so that when the situation arises, we’re not flat-footed,’’ Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week,” one of three scheduled appearances on Sunday morning political shows.

[….]

Trump on Friday said Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him he isn’t seeking to “get involved” in the crisis, although Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton both said earlier in the week that the Kremlin talked Maduro out of leaving Venezuela after U.S.-backed Guaido attempted to end his regime by calling for a military uprising.

“The president has made clear, we want everyone out, and that includes the Russians,” Pompeo said.

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