Why Trump Would Be Crazy to Give Putin What He Wants

Tensions are heating up between the Kremlin and the Obama administration, which imposed new sanctions on Russia on Thursday in response to Russia’s alleged and unprecedented interference in the U.S. presidential election, mistreatment of U.S. diplomats and cybertheft.

Yet despite Russia’s deliberate cyber-assault on our democracy, on U.S. sovereign domestic affairs, it’s likely only a matter of weeks before the standoff gives way to another attempt at a “reset.” On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he wouldn’t expel U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation, saying that he’d wait to take his cues “from the policy pursued by the administration of D. Trump.” And the cues from President-elect Donald Trump are looking good. He has repeatedly declared admiration for Putin. Last week, after receiving a letter from Putin about the need for both countries to beef up their nuclear weapons programs, Trump announced that it was “A very nice letter. … His thoughts are so correct.” Trump’s advisers have close and continuing contact with Russian oligarchs and Putin associates; and he and his team have expressed opinions about NATO, Ukraine and Syria that appear aligned with the Kremlin’s perspective. As far as the recent election hacking, Trump has thoroughly rejected the fact of Russia’s actions, although after he said Thursday, “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and

Article source: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-214580

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