6 Things Trump Has Done to Stop Russian Influence in US Politics
The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2017
The accusation is ironic, but not uncharacteristic. Donald Trump has a long history of accusing others of doing what he himself is doing.
Below is a list of everything Donald Trump has done “about Russia” since taking over from President Obama.
1. Attempted to roll back and soften sanctions on Russia imposed by the previous administration
Trump began to roll back sanctions since February,
very routine, technical fix https://t.co/1isJeNhd3s
— JamesVGrimaldi (@JamesVGrimaldi) February 2, 2017
Trump’s administration has continued to do so until as late as last week, as his administration planned to push for a weaker Russia sanctions deal, opposing a Senate bill that would limit Trump’s power to lift penalties imposed on Russia without congressional approval.
2. Attempted to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York
The Trump administration offered to return the Russian compounds in early May, in exchange for permission to build a new U.S. consulate St. Petersburg, a project that had been frozen since 2014 as a result of U.S. sanctions connected with Ukraine. However, two days later, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to return the compounds to the Russians, regardless of whether the Russians lifted the frieze on the building of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.
3. Hosted Russians in the Oval Office, barred U.S. press, revealed classified intel
Despite overwhelming consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Donald Trump invited Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak into the Oval Office for a meeting from which the U.S. press corps was barred. Russian press was allowed inside to photograph the meeting where Trump told the Russians that he had fired James Comey to relieve “great pressure” from the Russia investigation. He also called the former FBI director a “nut job,” and shared highly classified information gathered by Israel without Israel’s permission.
4. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump has denied Russian interference on numerous occasions.
5. Trump and his administration have shown little interest in finding out what happened in 2016 and how to prevent it in the future
Trump has exhibited alarmingly little interest in finding out how Russia was able to interfere in the 2016 and how a similar attack can be prevented in the future. The White House’s lack of interest in Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election was clear two weeks ago when Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he had not had a single briefing regarding election interference before he recused himself from the Russia investigation in early March.
Additionally, Former FBI Director James Comey testified in early June that apart from questions that impacted Trump personally, Trump did not appear to be concerned by other aspects of the Russia probe, including national security issues.
As recently as Friday morning, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Kellyanne Conway what the administration was doing to prevent a similar attack in the future. Conway was unable to provide a concrete answer or specific plan that the administration was working on or even considering.
6. Trump has attacked America’s closest allies while praising Vladimir Putin
Trump has alienated the leaders of Mexico, Canada, France and Germany, the U.S.’s oldest and strongest allies. He refused to unequivocally affirm Article 5 of NATO, effectively advancing Vladimir Putin’s agenda while imperiling a vital alliance.
Featured image: Mike Maguire, Flickr Creative Commons