Of all the lies the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have told about President Trump, the claim that Trump is a tool of the Russians stands out for its audacity I’m not surprised that the Dems/MSM went big with their lying. However, it astounds me that intelligent people I know who are outside of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media somehow found merit in this claim. I guess if you hate Trump enough, you will believe anything about him.
Trump’s foreign policy has never favored Russia. He sanctioned Russia and Russians. He expelled Russian diplomats. He is more supportive of Poland and Ukraine than President Obama was.
In addition, Trump 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. For another, completion of the pipeline would increase Russia’s leverage over Germany. Trump has said that this would “make Germany a hostage of Russia.”
A president who wanted to please Russia would never take the stands Trump has.
Now, Eli Lake reports that Trump is closing U.S. skies to Russian spies:
President Donald Trump is preparing to exit his second arms-control treaty with Russia since taking the oath of office, and the opposition is already in high dudgeon. . . .
The deal in question is the Open Skies treaty, signed in 1992, which allows U.S. and Russian spy planes to fly over military installations and weapons facilities. . . .
In theory, it’s a good idea. Overhead surveillance is one way to verify more substantive arms control agreements with Russia. It also gives a baseline for military planners, providing a data set that shows what peacetime deployment looks like. The big flaw in the arrangement is that the one party that all the others must worry about — Russia — is a serial violator of international agreements.
When Russian special operations units invaded Crimea and later Eastern Ukraine in 2014, President Vladimir Putin was violating a 1994 pledge to protect and respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Ukrainians got these commitments in exchange for relinquishing the Soviet-era nuclear arsenal stationed on their territory.
The same pattern was repeated by Russia with regard to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty. Russia largely complied with the part of the treaty that eliminated a class of short- and medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe from its signing in 1987 to about 2008. But in that year, Russia began testing a ground-launched cruise missile that violated the ranges set by the INF treaty.
For 10 years, the U.S. tried to bring Russia back into compliance, but Putin kept escalating, eventually deploying banned missiles with ranges that could hit Europe. So in October 2018, after NATO allies publicly acknowledged that Russia was in material breach of its commitments, the U.S. announced it would be withdrawing.
Russia also violates the Open Skies agreement:
When it took effect, in 2002, Russia largely abided by it. But during former President Barack Obama’s administration, the U.S. found its flights were restricted over suspected facilities in Russia — even as the U.S. gathered evidence that Russian surveillance planes were mapping critical infrastructure in the U.S. As Republican Senator Tom Cotton said Thursday: “The Open Skies Treaty started life as a good-faith agreement between major powers and died an asset of Russian intelligence.”
But the treaty didn’t die when it should have — during the Obama administration when Russia was found to be in violation. It took President Trump, the alleged tool of the Russian, to put this deal to the sword.
Trump’s policy on arms control agreements with Russia is straightforward. As his assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation put it: “Where arms control does not contribute to security — such as where our counterparties refuse to comply with their obligations — we have made very clear that we are willing to walk away from failed agreements.”
That’s just common sense. Arms control agreements are meaningless if they can be violated with impunity. Arms control can succeed only if the parties to agreements hold one another to them.
President Obama and his crew must have understood this. However, they were obsessed with “resetting” U.S. relations with Russia and, later, were unwilling to acknowledge the failure of this policy.
Like Obama, Trump wanted a fresh start with Russian relations when he took office. Unlike Obama, he wasn’t willing to turn a blind eye to Russia’s bad behavior in the name of a “reset.”
This was obvious from the start. Yet, Democrats and their media allies peddled their lie that Trump was a tool of Vladimir Putin.
They won’t be held accountable. They won’t look back. They have simply moved on to their next package of slanders.