A tough Trump policy on Russia that no one talks about

The claim that the Trump administration goes easy on Russia is false. President Trump has sanctioned Russia and Russians. He has expelled Russian diplomats. He is more supportive of Poland and, yes, Ukraine than President Obama was.

At least as importantly, Trump has vigorously opposed a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Construction of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2, would be hugely beneficial for Russia. For one thing, Russia could use the pipeline to bypass Ukraine. This would enable it to cut gas off to that country or to use the threat of a cutoff to gain leverage.

In addition, completion of the pipeline would increase Russia’s leverage over Germany. Trump has said that this would “make[] Germany a hostage of Russia.”

The pipeline belongs to Gazprom, a Russian energy company the majority of which is owned by the Russian government. According to the Washington Post, Gazprom “makes most of its profits from European gas exports, so the project will help finance the Kremlin’s bottom line.”

If Trump were pro-Russia and/or indifferent to Ukraine’s interests, he would have no problem with the completion of Nord Steam 2. But Trump has steadfastly opposed it.

Even the Washington Post acknowledges this. Michael Birnbaum notes that the U.S., under President Trump, has “led” efforts to halt construction. As noted above, Trump himself has spoken publicly about the adverse consequences of completing the pipeline. Moreover, the administration has threatened sanctions against companies that participate in Nord Stream 2.

Germany, by contrast, is all in favor of the completion of Nord Stream 2. Indeed, Angela Merkel has sheltered the pipeline from European Union sanctions on Russia imposed after it annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

Trump’s phone conversation with Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy wasn’t “perfect.” However, Trump was on to something when he said “Germany does almost nothing for you; all they do is talk.” And Zelenskyy wasn’t just sucking up to Trump when he concurred and provided details.

The Trump as stooge of Russia narrative is an invention — a lie. Democrats and their mainstream media boosters know it’s a lie. Yet even after the disintegration of the Russia collusion claim, Democrats continue to advance it.

Nancy Pelosi still claims that, with Trump, “all roads lead to Putin.” But Pelosi knows about the sanctions Trump has imposed on Russia, about the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and about the president’s opposition to Nord Stream 2.

She cannot reconcile these facts with her slander of Trump, and does not attempt to. Nor, to my knowledge, has anyone if the mainstream media asked her to.

Instead, he media continues to peddle what most assuredly is fake news.

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