You know, I’m old enough to remember when today’s QOP (formerly GOP), used to think democracy was good and Vladimir Putin and Russia were bad. Not so, anymore. And I do find it amazing that the same people who are blaming Joe Biden for his response to Putin and Ukraine had no problem when their orange pustule illegally withheld aid that been allocated by congress to Ukraine in order to extort Ukraine into helping him rig/steal the election by announcing a Biden related investigation – a betrayal that formed the foundation for Trump’s first, much deserved impeachment.
And let’s be clear. Trump knew there was no grounds for such an investigation. Ukraine told him so. That’s why he asked them to just “announce” an investigation. He didn’t care for – nor did he want a full investigation. He only wanted a proclamation of same which he hoped would cast enough suspicion upon Biden to help him steal a 2nd term.
And now of course, Trump’s state-run propaganda and disinformation media industrial complex has predictably used this impending invasion/war as a cudgel against Joe Biden. And the most ludicrous pronouncement/lie they’ve been promulgating is that Putin didn’t invade Ukraine when Agent Orange was the so-called president because he was afraid of Trump. As the saying goes, “Bitch, please.”
Everyone seems to have forgotten the countless times Trump was soft on Putin and Russia – none more humiliating and debasing than when he groveled at Putin’s feet in Helsinki in 2018, and took Putin’s word over his interference in our 2016 election over his own intelligence community’s. “President Putin was very strong and powerful in his denial today.” Weak sauce.
Trump also made light of the Russian hacking, even asking them to find Hillary Clinton’s emails. And that denial of Russia’s involvement continued throughout Trump’s entire presidency. He has never once condemned Russia’s attack on our democracy. And why would he? That was a goal Putin and Trump both shared, evidenced by the physical attack Trump himself incited on our democracy on January 6, 2021.
And recall that Trump confiscated the interpreter’s notes of his private meeting with Putin. I wonder if they ended up being flushed down one of the White House toilets, or perhaps down at Mara-Lardo, along with other classified, top secret info?
After the 2016 election, the Trump transition team asked Russia not to retaliate against new US sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama – sanctions were intended to punish Russia for interfering in the election. But Trump aide Michael Flynn asked the Russian ambassador not to escalate the situation so they could have a good relationship once Trump took over. It was the traitor Flynn’s lies over this betrayal that led to his indictment.
And if you Trumpers are tempted (and I know you are) to compare this to Barack Obama’s “hot mic” incident, wherein he told then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that after his re-election, he’d have more flexibility. Firstly, that conversation had nothing to do with Ukraine – in fact, Crimea hadn’t been invaded yet. Secondly, Obama was the US president at the time. He could say anything he wanted to. Trump was not yet president when the Michael Flynn episode occurred. Huge difference.
And while we’re on the topic, let’s debunk another right wing media lie, namely, that “Obama only gave Ukraine blankets.” Again, bitch please. Firstly, Obama provided extensive military and security aid – just not lethal weapons – a stance supported by our allies. Obama approved a multi-million dollar aid package that included vehicles, counter-mortar radars, patrol boats, body armor and night-vision goggles, as well as medical supplies and humanitarian assistance.
As for the Javelin anti-tank missiles Trump provided to Ukraine? Here’s something Trump’s media won’t tell their audience, namely, that as part of the Javelin sale, the Trump administration stipulated that the Javelins must be stored in western Ukraine – hundreds of miles from the battlefield. That sale was one of symbolic support only, which provided Trump with yet more political propaganda.
And has everyone forgotten that ahead of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump campaign aides blocked language from the party platform that called for the US government to send lethal weapons to Ukraine for its war against Russian proxies. Robert Mueller investigated this for potential collusion but determined the change was not made “at the behest” of Russia. Add to that, Trump lied (again) when he said during the presidential campaign that he had no deals – impending or otherwise, with Russia. He lied. He’d already signed a LOI (letter of intent) to build another one of his gawdy towers in Russia.
Rudy Giuliani defended Trump at the time saying Trump hadn’t signed the letter. A lie. We have the letter. Trump signed it. Giuliani AND Trump lied.
Which brings us to the question why Putin didn’t invade Ukraine when Trump was in office. Firstly, he didn’t want to make his American puppet look bad. Secondly, why would he, when Trump was busy trying to discredit and dissemble NATO (one of Putin’s primary objectives), and even said he’d withdraw the US from NATO in his second term. THAT is what Vlad was waiting for.
Unfortunately for the shirtless, Russian hunk, an American election got in the way, whereby a healthy majority of Americans – thankfully – told Trump, “You’re fired.”
And all of this – before Trump’s latest act of Russia related treason, wherein he called Putin a smart and savvy genius for his deceptive ploy wherein he labeled parts of Ukraine independent – which I don’t have the room to address here. We’ll expand on that as well as other times Trump was soft on Russia/Putin in my next column.