There are those who continue to use the Russian collusion story as a crutch to avoid dealing with the reality that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election. Moreover, because of the collusion story and the borderline Russophobic hysteria that’s ensued since then, people think that Trump is weaker with Russia. He has to be, right? I mean Vladimir Putin helped him get elected, so say the delusional leftists. On Wednesday, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) aptly noted the differences between the two presidents when it comes to handling Russia, torching Obama, and rightfully so, for his weakness in confronting a nation that he thought was yesterday’s news. It’s very satisfying. In short, the Obama way of dealing with the Russians was either caving or letting them walk all over him, whether that be in Syria, Ukraine, or even during our own election.
President Trump has bombed Kahn Sheikhoun military base in Syria [I think he meant to say Shayrat air base; Kahn is the town that was hit by the chemical weapons attack]. He has shot down Syrian planes. He has shot down Iranian drones. Thereby Russia is unable to protect its two main clients in the Middle East. We’re on the verge of deploying more troops to Afghanistan where Russia has been meddling with ever-greater intensity in recent years. And we have finally proposed a budget that increases military spending, albeit, not enough, that accelerates ballistic missile defense. And our domestic agencies are doing everything they can to promote oil and gas production in the United States.
By contrast, President Obama famously pressed the reset button a few weeks into his tenure, six months after Russia invaded Georgia. He mocked Mitt Romney for calling Russia our number one geopolitical foe. He asked Dmitry Medvedev in a hot mic moment to wait until after the election to discuss missile defenses because he would have more flexibility. Despite bipartisan support in the Congress, President Obama refused to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. He stood idly by as Russia returned to the Middle East for the first time in 40 years, and he stood idly by, as we’ve heard today, in the 2016 election.