And what’s wrong with that? We might even applaud it, were Trump a normal POTUS-elect. Of course one chats with foreign leaders after winning the election, and of course one expresses hope for good international relations, even “resets.” Kumbaya, and all that.
But since we had ample evidence during the election that Trump is putty in Putin’s hands, and since Putin’s international goals include expanding his territory toward more Evil-Empirelike boundaries and propping up Bashar al-Assad in Syria, it’s quite natural to be creeped out by such an otherwise vanilla headline, because it tells you that it’s already begun.
Fortunately, people who know better than Trump are serving notice they won’t stand idly by while this bromance develops.
First there was this:
Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent his first shot across the bow of President-elect Donald Trump’s national security plans Tuesday, saying that any attempt to “reset” relations with Russia is unacceptable.
“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement released by his office.
“We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections,” he said….
Then, McCain’s pal Lindsey Graham weighed in:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday said he wants Senate hearings to investigate whether Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the U.S. election, casting doubts on President-elect Donald Trump’s desire to improve relations with Russia.
“Assuming for a moment that we do believe that the Russian government was controlling outside organizations that hacked into our election, they should be punished,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Putin should be punished.”…
They are hardly alone, as the House demonstrated yesterday:
On Tuesday, the House passed a bill imposing mandatory sanctions on anyone that financially, economically, or technologically supports Syria’s government in the civil war there – a category that chiefly includes Russia and Iran. Trump’s supporters didn’t stand in the way, and the measure was passed unanimously.
“Regardless of perspectives on Syria, there’s some unanimity of opinion in sending a message on this kind of conduct,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said prior to the vote….
Here’s the part where we find out whether we should have believed all those reassurances we heard from Republicans about how our checks and balances would rein in the inevitable foolishness of a Trump administration…