The name Donald Trump seems to be synonymous with Russian scandal these days.
In the past week, both Donald Trump The Elder and Donald Trump The Lesser have gotten themselves so tangled up in their own web of Russian lies that the more they try to tweet their way out, the more ensnarled they become.
First Donald Sr. couldn’t make up his mind whether it was Russia or someone else who hacked last year’s U.S. presidential election. (It was Russia, Don; it was Russia.) In the next breath, Trump’s confusion turned to anger as he lashed out at Obama for not doing anything to stop the Russians sooner. Then his anger turned to hypocrisy as he sat down with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 and did nothing to defend the integrity of U.S. democracy from Russian meddling.
Instead, Trump gave Putin a pat on the back and practically offered him the new Wi-Fi password as part of a new joint cyber security unit, but he apparently backpedaled on that a day later. It’s been a dizzying few days.
While Big Don was making a mess of things in Europe, Little Don was creating problems for himself by twisting and tweeting the details of his mysterious campaign meeting with a lawyer close to the Kremlin. In a clumsy effort to clarify his story, Little Don admitted he was baited into the meeting by the promise of Russian-hacked intel that could compromise Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In short, Don Jr. was apparently down to collude.
Who would have guessed that Eric would end up being the smarter brother?
With the Russian scandal accelerating faster than a Lada, former President Ronald Reagan must be turning in his grave.
Putin’s Russia is admittedly different than Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, but it’s a formidable foe nonetheless. Gorbachev was a reformer who believed in glasnost and perestroika. Putin is a conservative who believes in kompromat.
Under Putin, a former KGB cold warrior, Russia is expansionist, aggressive, and determined to destabilize Western democracies—including the United States.
Reagan understood the threat of the Russian bear. His policy for dealing with Russia was trust, but verify. Trump, however, is all trust and no verify. Putin says he didn’t interfere in the U.S. election, and that’s good enough for Trump.
The U.S. won the Cold War a quarter century ago. But now with Trump on the mound, we could blow the lead in extra innings—long after the game was supposed to have ended.
See more of our take on U.S.-Russian relations this Thursday night on The Feed.