Making Russia great again …

What did Trump tell Lavrov and Kislyak?

Whether Robert Mueller or the congressional committees investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia will ever be able to get to the bottom of the matter remains to be seen.

But what cannot be disputed is that Donald Trump has handed Vladimir Putin and the Russians one victory after another since taking office as President. Indeed, he is proving himself to be Moscow’s best friend and ally in the West.

Actions speak louder than words; and it is now apparent that Trump’s foreign policy is designed to make Russia great again, not the United States. In this article, well worth reading, conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin discusses the apparent plans of the Trump administration to hand back two Russian spy compounds in the United States to Moscow.

As you may recall, the Russians were ejected from those compounds (located near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore) in retaliation for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Rubin quotes Max Bergmann, a Russian expert and former State Department official, as follows: “At a certain point, we need to just call this out for what it is — Trump is acting in the interests of a hostile foreign power over the interests of the United States. Congress meanwhile is MIA, as Senator Bob Corker and the Republican leadership continue to block additional sanctions against Russia.”

Like I said, it’s an interesting article that should be read, but what isn’t clear is whether Russia’s failure to retaliate at the time they were ejected from the spy compounds was based on assurances from Trump and/or close associates like Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner that the facilities would be returned to Moscow at the earliest possible date.

Why the United States would be doing anything to benefit the Russians while they still occupy Crimea, perpetuate conflict in the Ukraine, and interfere in elections worldwide is beyond me. Only a Russian poodle would do something like that.

Whatever the case may be, the return of the two facilities would be small potatoes compared to much more serious efforts by Trump to make Russia great again. It is now apparent that Trump’s recent trip to Europe has caused grave, perhaps irreparable, damage to our national security interests by weakening NATO and opening a damaging rift between the United States and Germany.

In dividing the Atlantic Alliance that has kept the peace in Europe for more than seven decades, Trump has created a highly destabilized situation that only strengthens the hand of Vladimir Putin and his dictatorial regime. This is an unbelievable gift to the Russians who have been trying to alienate European nations from the United States since the end of World War II.

It is an incredibly stupid and reckless act that makes the world a much more dangerous place, but it is only part and parcel of a much larger pro-Russian tilt by Trump. Other elements are detailed by Rubin in a separate article you can read here.

The question Rubin poses is whether Trump has evidenced a pattern of behavior that can be identified as favoring Russian interests over our own. Although she defers answering that question to Congress, she makes it clear that impeachment would be an altogether appropriate response if Congress comes to that conclusion.

And keep in mind that all of this happened before Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, another step that will substantially undermine U.S. leadership in the world community.

All in all, thanks to his American Poodle, Trump, it’s been a terrific couple of months for Vladimir Putin and the thugs in Moscow. But it’s also been a disaster for U.S. national security. If Obama had done even half of what Trump has done, he would have been impeached by now.

But Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and congressional Republicans more generally continue to stick their collective heads in the sand as America falters and Russia advances.