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Post 27 Mar 2019, 5:38 am

Freeman:

In my mind, Trump has favored Russian and his own interests--as opposed to US interests--in his dealings with Russia. I am supposed to say this guy has done nothing wrong now? No way. Whether his behavior with regard to Russia was done for personal financial gain or he owed Russia something or Russia had something over him or whether there was improper collusion that Mueller did not find because people did not talk...in the end does not matter much. As president, you cannot favor another country's interests over the US. Period. That's impeachable in my book.


I agree with you that Trump's behavior is odd, especially his infatuation with dictators and his press conference in Helsinki. With that stipulated, I don't see how he has favored Russian interests over the US. It's been the opposite. He brought the price of oil down, which is Russia's major cash generator. He has vigorously opposed the German pipeline deal, he has used more sanctions than Obama, and his policies towards Russia have been more muscular than Obamas (although not as muscular as I would like vis-à-vis Russia).

What's the evidence that he has helped Russia's interests aside from the silly things that come out of his mouth way too often?
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 9:12 am

rayjay
He brought the price of oil down, which is Russia's major cash generator.


The markets brought the price of oil down. Notably the shale oil production in the US.

rayjay
he has used more sanctions than Obama,

congress did most of that, despite Trumps opposition. He also slow walked the implementation of most sanctions
In August 2017, Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, despite calling it “seriously flawed.” He then bypassed a congressionally mandated deadline in January to act on the bill and impose new sanctions on Russia for the election allegations.


rayjay
What's the evidence that he has helped Russia's interests aside from the silly things that come out of his mouth way too often?

he has failed to act on the Russian cyber aggression. And he undermined and discredited US intelligence community while fighting action on Russian cyber aggression.
Probably because he wouldn't mind an assist from the Russians in 2020.
Russia's cyber war efforts to undermine democratic institutions is a key factor in the rise of populism in Europe and the US. Trump's inaction, and lack of leadership means the US is not really dealing with the issue in a meaningful way... (Despite possessing significant advantages in this sphere.)

Russia has long worked to disrupt unity among NATO members. Trump has been useful to them in this venture. Russia and China have long worked to disrupt trade agreements among western nations. Trump has worked to advance this as well.
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 9:38 am

RickyP,
I had to laugh. You were so adamant about President Clinton (No, not Hilary! :grin: ) lowering the deficit pace and reducing budget levels, when in fact it was the Republican Congress that did it. Now you play the other side of the coin to take away an achievement.

Thanks for brightening my day!
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 10:36 am

I think seeking to undermine the NATO is a big one. The willingness to withdraw from the world stage (like withdrawing from Syria). The support for Brexit. The lack of support for democratic institutions. From spurious allegations of illegal voting, to attacks on the media, to attacks on the Truth (or at least a set of agreed facts that we can agree on), a propaganda machine/ press secretary that sounds like something coming from a totalitarian regime, a complete lack of concern about Russian attempts to undermine faith in voting, the cozying up to Russia sending a terrible signal to the world. This a wish list for Russia. They want to undermine European containment of Russia and undermine democratic institutions. And Trump is all in on that. I doubt very, very much that Trump just happened to have a set of core beliefs that align perfectly with Russia.

I doubt the oil thing was intentional. That was too much part of his platform about drill baby drill, keep coal jobs, etc for him to alter. Also, it helps the economy. The opposition to German pipeline deal I think again is an attempt to divide Europe, not that Trump gives a hoot about Germany getting oil from Russia. Whatever short-term negative economic aspects that Trump has had on Russia, I am sure Putin is willing to live with given the long-term political benefits he is getting from Trump

It would be far, far worse but an institutional bureaucracy puts constraints on most things he would like to do. And a second term will probably see Trump willing to do more to help Russia.

Unfortunately, the Devil does not come marked with an S...
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 10:56 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mgQaFlo_p8

I knew it sounded familiar...
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 11:23 am

Yeah, 'cause Obama appointed Hillary...and Putin loved Hillary and did everything possible to get her elected!
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 11:58 am

Those aren't my words, brother. Those are President Obama's...
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 12:17 pm

I know. Just providing context...
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 12:59 pm

bbauska
Now you play the other side of the coin to take away an achievement.


Which achievement is that?
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Post 28 Mar 2019, 5:50 am

Freeman answering the question of evidence that Trump is in bed with the Russians: (I've added numbers to his reasons so that they can be discussed individually)

(1) I think seeking to undermine the NATO is a big one. (2) The willingness to withdraw from the world stage (like withdrawing from Syria). (3)The support for Brexit. (4)The lack of support for democratic institutions. From spurious allegations of illegal voting, to attacks on the media, to attacks on the Truth (or at least a set of agreed facts that we can agree on), a propaganda machine/ press secretary that sounds like something coming from a totalitarian regime, (5) a complete lack of concern about Russian attempts to undermine faith in voting, (6) the cozying up to Russia sending a terrible signal to the world. This a wish list for Russia. (7) They want to undermine European containment of Russia and undermine democratic institutions. And Trump is all in on that. I doubt very, very much that Trump just happened to have a set of core beliefs that align perfectly with Russia.

I doubt the oil thing was intentional. That was too much part of his platform about drill baby drill, keep coal jobs, etc for him to alter. Also, it helps the economy. (8) The opposition to German pipeline deal I think again is an attempt to divide Europe, not that Trump gives a hoot about Germany getting oil from Russia. Whatever short-term negative economic aspects that Trump has had on Russia, I am sure Putin is willing to live with given the long-term political benefits he is getting from Trump



(1) There's some truth to this. I think he's trying to get the other NATO countries to give their fair share. Germany gives about 1.2% of their budget to defense, although they are a wealthy country with surpluses. Trump's tactics are over the top, but his predecessors (going back to Reagan or earlier) have failed in getting other NATO countries to give their fair share.

(2) He ran on this. It's what his base supports. They elected him to do precisely this. That's evidence that he keeps his campaign promises unconstrainted by the establishment, which he also ran on.


(3) The Brexit vote was June 2016 before Trump was elected. I think the US has very limited influence here and we are correct to let the UK and Europe sort it out.

(4) I hate this part about Trump, but the notion that he is doing it to please Russian puppet masters is far fetched.

(5) Yes, this is puzzling about Trump. I think he sees it as an attempt to delegitimize his election, and cannot get past that.

(6) This one isn't evidence, just a restatement of your position. I probably shouldn't have flagged it.

(7) The more established Europeans (Germany, Italy) are undermining their own containment of Russia. Trump is supporting front line Europeans such as Poland. He's trying to teach the Europeans that their actions have consequences and that the US isn't infinitely patient.

(8) The pipeline deal suggests that Germany is in bed with the Russians, not Trump. He is throwing his weight around to prevent it, but the US doesn't have sufficient cards. This gas pipeline is a big deal and the fact that Germany wants to do it in spite of the US defending them for 70+ years, and Russian incursions into Ukraine and Syria is outrageous. Germany won't pay for its own defense and is deciding to become economically beholden to Russia.


I think the US response to Russian troops in Venezuela will be very interesting on answering this question. My view is that we should respond harshly including military support to the opposition. If Russian and Cuban troops are killed as a result of supporting a murderous dictator who starves his own people, so be it. Perhaps that would prove that Trump is not in bed with the Russians.
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Post 28 Mar 2019, 3:19 pm

Thanks for the considered response, RJ. I don't have time to respond right now, maybe in a few days.
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Post 03 Apr 2019, 2:05 pm

Ray Jay,
"(1) There's some truth to this. I think he's trying to get the other NATO countries to give their fair share. Germany gives about 1.2% of their budget to defense, although they are a wealthy country with surpluses. Trump's tactics are over the top, but his predecessors (going back to Reagan or earlier) have failed in getting other NATO countries to give their fair share."


That Russia's economy is ruffly equal to Italy's shows just how ridiculous Europe's Russia problem is. The EU's economic heft towers over Russia by nearly a factor.

I suspect that the dirty secret is that the EU underpays for security, leaving it to America in exchange for the understanding that they will give the US a nearly freehand in application military force around the world. The establishments on both sides of the Atlantic liked that arrangement and DJT has upset that apple cart.
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Post 04 Apr 2019, 8:28 am

neal
That Russia's economy is ruffly equal to Italy's shows just how ridiculous Europe's Russia problem is. The EU's economic heft towers over Russia by nearly a factor.

Yes but Russia spends 4.5% of its GDP on the military. The US is 3.5% . No European nation is higher than 2.2%. Germany is 1.2%. So Russia, is willing to spend where democracies have other priorities.
It may be that the spending of the Europeans, plus the nuclear deterrents, is currently sufficient to deter Russian aggression in Europe proper. If not areas of Europe that were formally Soviet... If that's the case, the guns or butter argument goes to butter...

Consider also the US is the leading arms supplier in the world with about 36% of sales. Europe makes up 16% of those sales... And its about time to replace all the fighter planes .. SO pushing for more spending is the kind of transactional notion that Trump understands...and which the lobbyists for the military industries would be pushing..

If Europe decided to go it alone, and invited the US to leave their bases in Europe ... the ability of the US to project its power would be limited.

All of these factors complicate the decisions regarding defense spending. Trump has, no doubt, examined all the complexities and nuances before making his pronouncements .... And he has some clear achievable goal .... which I'm sure he could clearly communicate.
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Post 04 Apr 2019, 10:24 am

rickyp wrote:Trump has, no doubt, examined all the complexities and nuances before making his pronouncements .... And he has some clear achievable goal .... which I'm sure he could clearly communicate.


That's some Grade A snark right there.
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Post 04 Apr 2019, 3:50 pm

geojanes wrote:
rickyp wrote:Trump has, no doubt, examined all the complexities and nuances before making his pronouncements .... And he has some clear achievable goal .... which I'm sure he could clearly communicate.


That's some Grade A snark right there.


Yes, My sarcasm sensor chirped as well.