The early days of President Donald Trump in the White House have been plagued by one controversy after the next, front and center being the POTUS links to Russia.
A string of controversies, Including media coverage of Michael Flynn’s termination of his role as national security adviser in February, by most popular news coverage teams, including Fox News; and the exposure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, have resulted in paranoia regarding the links between the President and Russian administration and Russian Interests.
According to many sources relations are rocky between Trump and Russia, even Trump’s own son, Eric Trump, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, believes that the cruise missile attack on Syria proved was basically a message to Vladimir Putin proving that the President wouldn’t be “pushed around” by Russia, and goes on to claim that the decision to launch was probably influenced by his “heartbroken and outraged” sister Ivanka (as a result of the indiscriminate Bashar al-Assad chemical attack).
But it’s clear that relations are already rocky between Trump and Russia- and you don’t need to be family to see that his optimistic campaign talk is being overtaken by reality.
Syrian Missile Strike A Bad Move For Trump
Beyond the missile strike, what are the major causes of controversy with Russia? Many believe that the source of the suspicion and controversy stems from the favorable way in which Trump spoke of Putin and future U.S.-Russian co-operation during his presidential campaign- an incredibly naive approach to the harsh truth of geopolitics that is unacceptable to Washington’s foreign policy establishment.
There have been congressional investigations into the possible ties, dealings, and contacts between Trump, his associates and the Russian ambassador that have failed to uncover any suspect or nefarious activities that may have occurred.
The additional reports of Russian Hackers aiming to discredit Hillary Clinton (by illegally obtaining emails from her campaign and the DNC) and speculation on what Putin may have on Trump have exacerbated the situation and added to the skepticism around the controversy.
Nikki Haley told CNN that imposing tougher sanctions on Russia, as well as Iran, was not off the table. While other unnamed officials from national security told White House reporters that this was a disinformation campaign aimed at covering up the connections and activities between the countries.
The White House response came in the form of President Trump telling Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business anchor, if Putin is choosing the unreliable partnership with Assad (as referred to as by secretary Rex Tillerson when pressing Moscow) over America, is a bad move for Russia and a lot like aligning himself with someone who is "evil".
The Secretary of state told reporters earlier last week that he has his doubts about Russian alliances and is quoted saying, “Is that a long-term alliance that serves Russia's interests?” “Or would Russia prefer to realign with the United States [and other Western and Middle East countries] that are seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis?”