Brian Richards | Russia: A Tale of Two Presidents

Letters to the Editor
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Let’s examine how two presidents reacted to Russia.

One president did nothing when Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. One president sent his secretary of state to Russia to present a reset button indicating the desire for better relations. One president, when told by Mitt Romney that Russia was our greatest geopolitical threat, mockingly said that the ’80s were calling and that they wanted their foreign policy back. One president not only ignored his own intelligence community in the summer of 2016 that the Russians were meddling in our election, but also told them to stand down. One president told Russian President Medvedev that he would have more flexibility after his next election. One president had his administration use Russian agents to compile a dossier smearing a political opponent and later used that dossier to spy on his opponent’s campaign. Two years later not one item in the dossier has been confirmed. One president also did nothing about Russian interference in Syria, despite threats of red lines.

Let us now look at another president. One president expelled 35 diplomats in response to Russian meddling in our election. One president closed two Russian consulates. One president signed a law imposing sanctions against Russia and certain oligarchs, including Putin’s son-in-law. He also signed into law a bill limiting his ability to ease said sanctions. One president recently achieved a $40 billion increase in NATO defense spending.

It seems to me one president was soft on Russia and one is not. Short of war, I’m not understanding what critics of President Trump want. We had eight years of a feckless policy that resulted in Russia meddling in our election and causing chaos among our citizens, but which president is more responsible? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Brian Richards

Stevenson Ranch

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