AMERICAN THINKER– Trump is right: He’s slammed the Russians, hard.
Stating the obvious, President Trump nailed it on what his foreign policy stance toward Russia really has amounted to:
So far from being the Russia-colluding, Russia-coddling, Russia-excusing figure of the left’s suddenly national security-conscious imagination, Trump’s record shows he’s dropped the hammer on the Russians – and the Russians know it. The people I know in Russia think so, and these are Russians with ties to their government, who often tell me how unexpected this has been for them, given Trump’s Russia-friendly statements, something that befuddles them. “What do we need to do to please him?” they ask.
The reality is, Trump has taken unprecedented actions against the Russians. He shut down a whole Russian consulate in San Francisco and two trade annexes in Washington and New York in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s retaliatory expulsion of about 100 U.S. diplomatic personnel, most of whom were local hires. That consular presence in San Francisco has been in Russian hands for decades, dating back to the pre-Soviet tsarist regime, and certainly through the Cold War. The shutdown followed Putin’s delayed response to President Obama’s Dec. 16 expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats over the issue of meddling in the U.S. election (read: Hillary Clinton’s loss). That move was Obama’s fit of pique against the election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and very much in contrast to the soggy, appeasing character of Obama’s relations with the Russians, described by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line here. Putin’s delay at the first countermeasures was the result of mistaken high hopes relations would get better, not worse, under Trump. They didn’t. U.S. relations with Russia are now described in the press as “in the deep freeze,” worse than during the Cold War, yet that hasn’t stopped the left’s fanciful Russian collusion “narrative.”
Besides this, sanctions have been tightened in a ham-fisted way, isolating Russia further. The latest round was an indiscriminate list of those sanctioned, pretty much copied from the Forbes billionaire’s list for Russia. Although the left claimed the sanctions had no teeth, the sentiment in Moscow was that it stung. Doing it from the Forbes list presumes everyone with money in Russia is a Putin pawn, and that isn’t the case, so it’s obvious that this was just a bid to put another squeeze on Russia.
On the non-spy side, it’s worth noting that the visa of TASS News Agency’s 30-year Washington bureau chief was not renewed this year, forcing him to return to Moscow, which suggests that the Trump administration is cracking down not only on the diplomatic and oligarch front, but even on Russia’s access to overt information. READ MORE