• Russia,  Trump

    Trump’s mysterious silence on Putin

    The mystery remains. Given his willingness to trash and humiliate virtually every other person on the planet who publicly opposes him, why does Donald Trump remain silent when it comes to criticizing one our nation’s leading adversaries, Vladimir Putin? Trump has expressed more concerns about Congress's Russia sanctions bill than about Putin's expulsion of US diplomats. — Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) August 2, 2017 And so Trump signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election (which Trump still isn’t convinced happened) and restricting his ability to lift or waive those sanctions. But Trump called the bill (which passed the Senate 98 to 2…

  • Russia,  Syria,  Trump

    Trump surrenders to Putin on Syria

    After the regime of Bashar al-Assad began its brutal and murderous repression of the largely peaceful Syrian uprising, I was very critical of then-president Barack Obama’s half-hearted and mismanaged efforts to aid non-extremist rebels in their struggle against the regime. But it was symbolically important that the US was doing something to help the more secular and democratic anti-Assad forces in Syria. No more. I was somewhat encouraged when President Trump approved a cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for a sarin gas attack on civilians But now Trump has ended the covert CIA program to arm Syrian rebels. Anti-Trump conservatives are the great truth-tellers of our…

  • Russia,  Trump

    The great unspooling

    If this wasn’t collusion with a hostile autocratic foreign power in an effort to affect the outcome of a democratic election, it wasn’t for lack of trying. What to know what the emails said? Read our story. https://t.co/ZddcS31cR2 — Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) July 11, 2017

  • France,  Russia,  Trump

    Merci, Monsieur Macron

    Calling out to their face authoritarians who try to subvert democracy est toujours dans l’ordre. French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as “propaganda” organs during France’s election campaign. Speaking at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Macron accused the two outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, of spreading fake news. He said that’s why he banned their reporters from his campaign headquarters during the race for the French presidency, which he went on to win May 7. Watch & *look at Putin's face* — you do not need to speak French to feel the daggers Macron…

  • Left-Right convergence,  Russia

    Deeper into the Twilight Zone

    Professor Stephen Cohen, a longtime Putin apologist and contributing editor to the leftwing Nation magazine (where his wife Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher), went on Tucker Carlson’s program on Fox News to proclaim that the biggest threat to the United States today is the “assault on President Trump.” Stephen Cohen on "assault" on @POTUS: "This is beyond belief now, and has become…a national security threat to us in itself." #Tucker pic.twitter.com/T3SJDYbDVa — Fox News (@FoxNews) May 17, 2017 Nation columnist Katha Pollitt recently dissented from some of her colleagues on Putin and Russia. However she seems to think it was more understandable for leftists to defend the Soviet…

  • Russia,  Trump

    Michael Weiss on Trump, Russia and “Trumpkin Republicans”

    Our friend Michael Weiss was on CNN Tuesday night reporting that government-controlled Russian media are reporting that President Trump is a true friend of Russia being victimized by the “liberal mainstream media and US intelligence services,” while the Putin regime has “a sense of relief in watching the US government tear itself apart.” He also says the information Trump disclosed to the Russians may have jeopardized an Israeli agent in Islamic State-controlled territory. Finally listen to him excoriate Republicans (“many of whom I used to respect”) who are still making excuses for Trump. And here’s former Mossad director Danny Yatom’s take. Update: And this. Former Israeli spymasters rip into Trump,…

  • Russia,  Stateside,  Trump

    Trump fires Comey; hilarity ensues

    With exquisite timing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (and later President Trump) the morning after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was leading an investigation of possible collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Putin regime. I’m pleased Lavrov was able to find some humor in the whole thing. More seriously I’m pleased that even some Senate Republicans, regardless of what they think of Comey’s actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, are disturbed by the timing of his dismissal. I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. — Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) May 9, 2017 I've spent…

  • Russia,  Women's Rights

    International Women’s Day, Putin style

    From an AP roundup of worldwide activities on International Women’s Day: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (dih-MEE’-tree med-VYEH’-dyev) has approved a five-year national action plan supporting women’s interests. The signing came on International Women’s Day on Wednesday. Valentina Matvienko, who as speaker of the upper house of parliament is one of Russia’s most prominent female politicians, calls the strategy a “gift to all the women of Russia.” The plan sets out broad terms for improving women’s health, their economic opportunities and their involvement in the country’s politics. Meanwhile, Russian news reports say seven women have been arrested after a demonstration on Moscow’s Red Square marking International Women’s Day. The independent…