Thursday, August 3, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He blamed the United States Congress for the supposedly poor state of relations between it and Russia.

Yesterday, Trump grudgingly signed a bill that extends economic sanctions against certain members of the Putin regime, and deprives the president of the ability to unilaterally waive them. Today he tweeted: "Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!" 

Reaction from members of Congress, which is controlled by Republicans and which passed the sanctions bill 419-3 in the House and 98-2 in the Senate, was sharp. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that Vladimir Putin, not Congress, had taken the actions that earned Russia the sanctions in the first place. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) pointed out that US-Russian relations have been poor since the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

This is not the first time that Trump, whose family and presidential campaign is now known to have conspired with agents of the Russian government seeking to help him win the election, has sided with the Putin regime against Americans. He publicly praised the "very smart" Putin during the transition for not immediately retaliating against US sanctions imposed by President Obama. During the campaign, he famously begged Russia on live TV to release any of Hillary Clinton's e-mails they may have intercepted. It was revealed yesterday that he has forbidden the State Department to spend $80 million earmarked for programs aimed at countering Russian disinformation because doing so might anger Russia. And at a campaign rally today, Trump once again proclaimed Russia entirely innocent of any interference in the election, saying that the whole issue (and, therefore, any grounds for the investigations targeting him) was a "total fabrication" by sore-loser Democrats.

Why should I care about this?

  • It's bad if presidents side with hostile foreign powers against their own government.