Media is casting increasingly speculative doubt over President Elect Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin
Written by Angela McMillan, 12/31/16
Earlier this week President Obama issued sanctions against Russia as retaliation for “malicious cyber-enabled activities” aimed at the United States and intended to undermine the democratic electoral process. President Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian Diplomats giving them 72 hours to leave the country, according to Reuters. Additionally, Obama ordered two Russian compounds used by Russia for “intelligence related purposes” to be closed as well. This action is in response, Obama says, to the “unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services” and that these actions were not the “sum total of our response” adding that congress would receive a report in the coming days.
Friday, Vladimir Putin issued a statement saying that he does not intend to expel American Diplomats from Russia as further retaliation against the United States as was advised by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Instead, Putin states, rather than to issue an immediate response to “recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing administration” which he describes as “provocative” and only aimed at “further weakening the Russian-US relationship”, calling Obamas actions “regrettable”, in a translated statement from the Kremlins website. Putin says he will postpone action pending the actions of the incoming administration following the inauguration of President Elect Donald J. Trump.
Donald Trump sent a tweet in response to Putin’s decision saying “Putin smart on delay. I always knew he was smart”. This comment drew critical response from the media and called for increased speculation on the depth of the relationship between President Elect Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
HERES THE SPIN
The Washington post wrote that President-Elect Trump’s response was “dismissive” and “only deepens unanswered questions about his ties to Russia in the past and his plans for cooperation with Vladimir Putin.
“For his part, Mr. Putin seems to be eagerly anticipating the Trump Presidency. On Friday, he promised to withhold retaliatory sanctions, clearly hoping the new trump administration will nullify Mr. Obamas acts” added the Post.
The editorial went on to call Mr. Trump naive due to his admiration for strong men and lack of foreign policy experience, and raised further questions.
“Why is Mr. Trump so dismissive of Russia’s dangerous behavior? Some say it is his his lack of experience in foreign policy or and oft-stated admiration for Strongmen, or naiveté about Russian intentions, but darker suspicions persist”
The editorial asked “Are there loans or deals with Russian businesses or the state that were concealed during the campaign? Are there hidden communications with Mr. Putin or his representatives?”
Even in those few sentences there is an abusive use of subjective description and is suggestive of a treasonous conspiracy between Trump and Putin. Vladimir Putin said nothing to suggest that it was his expectation that the President Elect overturn Obamas actions once he takes office. It was more suggestive of an unwillingness to participate in what he perceives to be “kitchen diplomacy” and that if there is to be any hope for future diplomacy, retaliation on his part would not serve that purpose.
But to go so far as to accuse the President-Elect of concealing foreign business ties or of holding secret communications with foreign entities is not only irresponsible, it is ridiculous.
I believe we can all agree, that President Trump, in lacking political experience, can appear overly friendly with those of whom which we might like to keep a greater distance. We must remember, however, in the business world, its not about politics. It is always about the bottom line, and catching more flies with honey. Businessmen wine and dine to gain favor and Trump is simply used to “getting along” with everyone.
Not being a politician is the very reason he was put into office. Perhaps the tweet was just an observation. I personally, agree and think it was smart of Putin to delay his response. An aggressive reaction would only serve to paint Donald Trump into a corner creating a diplomatic stalemate moving forward. Perhaps Trump knows this, and appreciates the gesture allowing him to take office receive a full update and report before making any decisions or judgements, respecting the fact that there is a “one president at a time” policy.
So before we accuse the incoming president of foreign espionage. Let’s save our judgment until we have all the information and not speculate on minute details that are only part of the puzzle.