Just this week alone, this happened:
A Russian fighter aircraft made an “unsafe close range intercept” with a U.S. Navy jet over the Black Sea on Wednesday. . . the Russian Su-27 came “extremely close” and spent 19 minutes intercepting the U.S. P-8A Poseidon. The P-8 was conducting “routine operations in international airspace.” Russian fighter makes ‘unsafe close range intercept’ with U.S. anti-submarine aircraft.
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has declined to resume a cease-fire in Syria, choosing instead to prop up Russia’s long-time murderous puppet regime of President Bashar al-Assad than to allow sustained and unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for besieged communities most in need. “Going into the Geneva talks on Friday there had been guarded optimism that an agreement was at hand.” The United States and Russia make no promises as Syrian ceasefire talks drag on. Russia’s access to the naval facility in Tartrus, Syria is more strategically important to Putin than ending th conflict in Syria and allowing humanitarian aid to flow.
U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions. “A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at,” said one senior intelligence official . . . Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats.” U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.
Despite al of this, Putin’s puppet Donald Trump appeared on a “commander-in-chief forum” on NBC News on Wednesday, and defended his bromance admiration for Vladimir Putin, “even suggesting that Putin is more worthy of his praise than President Obama.” Trump praises Putin at national security forum:
“Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” Trump said. “We have a divided country.”
The Republican presidential nominee said that an alliance with Russia would help defeat the Islamic State, and when asked to defend some of Putin’s aggressions on the world stage, he asked, “Do you want me to start naming some of the things Obama does at the same time?”
Trump also said he appreciated some of the kind words Putin has had for him. “Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I think I’ll take the compliment, okay?”
Trump said he was not a fan of the Russian system of government — just Putin’s authoritarian strongman role model — but predicted continued good relations with Putin, saying: “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin, and I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.”
Trump denied that mutual admiration between him and the Russian leader would benefit Russia in its dealings with the United States. “It’s not going to get him anything,” Trump said. “I’m a negotiator.”
To make matters worse, we learn today that Donald Trump attacked U.S. foreign policy on Russian state-owned propaganda television. Trump attacks U.S. foreign policy, political press corps on state-owned Russian television network:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized U.S. foreign policy and the American political press corps Thursday during an interview on RT America, a state-owned Russian television network.
In a wide-ranging interview that aired Thursday evening, Trump spoke with journalist Larry King — WTF Larry! — about the presidential race, American intervention in Iraq and the Middle East, and the potential intrusion by Russian hackers into Democratic Party databases. RT, which airs in several countries in English and Russian, is funded by the Russian government; though it characterizes itself as independent, the network has been regularly accused of pro-Kremlin bias.
The interview came as Trump faced sustained criticism for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he has regularly done on the campaign trail — to the discomfort of many members of his own party, who have distanced themselves from the comments.
Asked during the RT America interview what has surprised him most about the political process, Trump unloaded on the American press.
“Well, I think the dishonesty of the media. The media has been unbelievably dishonest,” Trump responded. “I mean they’ll take a statement that you make which is perfect and they’ll cut it up and chop it up and shorten it or lengthen it or do something with it.”
“And all of a sudden it doesn’t look as good as it did when you actually said it. But there’s tremendous dishonesty with the media. Not all of it, obviously, but tremendous dishonesty,” he said.
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[Trump also] knocked foreign policy under Obama, Hillary Clinton, and former president George W. Bush.
“Hillary Clinton with her policies and Barack Obama — you know, look, we should have never gone into Iraq. Period. We should have never gone in. But once we went in, Larry, we shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. And the way they got out really caused ISIS, if you think about it. We got out in such a horrible, foolish fashion, instead of leaving some troops behind.”
When King asked Trump if he believed reports that Russian hackers may have targeted Democratic Party databases as part of an effort to influence the American presidential election, Trump said he did not believe that to be the case.
“I think it’s probably unlikely. I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows? But I think that it’s pretty unlikely,” he said. “I hope that if they are doing something I hope that somebody’s going to be able to find out so they can end it, because that would not be appropriate.”
King also asked Trump about Putin’s assertion that the hack was a “public service,” even as he claimed the Russian government was not involved.
“I don’t have any opinion on it. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know who hacked. I’m not sure. You tell me. Who hacked? Who did the hacking?” Trump said.
Trump’s critics have regularly insinuated that he is overly cozy with pro-Russian interests. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, came under fire last month after he was named in a Ukrainian corruption investigation that tied him to a pro-Kremlin political party.
Before that, Trump was widely condemned in July when, in an off-handed remark, he called on the Russian government to intervene in the election by releasing thousands of Clinton’s private emails. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said during a press conference at one of his South Florida resorts. He added later, “They probably have them. I’d like to have them released.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — one of Trump’s closest advisers — received payment to deliver a speech at an RT party last year, where he sat next to Putin.
Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, who has sold his soul to the devil for the price of his principles, dignity and self-respect to be Trump’s running mate, did his best ass-kissing for the boss. Mike Pence says it’s ‘inarguable’ that Putin is a stronger leader than Obama: “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country,” Pence said during an interview with CNN. So much Putin love!
Trump came under fire within minutes of the interview airing. Veteran GOP strategist John Weaver, a vocal anti-Trump Republican, expressed incredulity on social media. Trump attacks U.S. foreign policy, political press corps on state-owned Russian television network:
“Condemning the free, 1st amendment protected American media on Russian owned @RT_com is outrageous, even by the lowest of Trump standards,” Weaver said in one tweet.
“I’m just stunned at the insanity of the campaign staff to even consider, allow a @RT_com interview, given the Russian ties already,” Weaver wrote in another tweet.
Senator John McCain’s puppet boy, Little Lindsey Graham, also blasted Trump. Graham says Trump’s Putin stance ‘unnerves me to my core”:
“Other than destroying every instrument of democracy in his own country, having opposition people killed, dismembering neighbors through military force and being the benefactor of the butcher of Damascus, he’s a good guy,” quipped Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) of Putin.
Graham, a former presidential candidate, has often sparred with Trump and is one of his most vocal critics. “This calculation by Trump unnerves me to my core.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) also weighed in.
“You know, flattery can be used as a tool that sometimes bears very negative fruit,” said Corker. “One has to be careful about letting flattery affect one’s relationship with a person or a country.”
John McCain of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, both vulnerable Republican senators facing tough re-election battles, had nothing to say. Republicans struggle to explain Trump’s fondness for ‘murderer and thug’ Putin. “You should ask Donald Trump about that,” Toomey said, while McCain simply stated his own opinion that Putin is “a murderer and a thug” but pointedly refused to discuss Trump.
Let’s be clear: at no time in the past 100 years since the communist revolution in Russia could an American politician, at any level of political office, survive praising the autocratic leader of Russia, on Russian state-owned propaganda media no less. This is an automatic disqualifying event.
Had any Democrat done this, Republicans would be accusing him or her of treason and demanding prosecution, and you know this to be true.
Republicans invented the Red Scare, and Red Baiting, and McCarthyism. Now we have a Republican candidate for president who is a puppet of Vladimir Putin, and Republicans are not demanding that Trump immediately withdraw and step down? What has happened to the Republican Party? Has the GOP been reduced to an acronym, IOKIYAR?
UPDATE: Michael Morell, former acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013. and Mike Vickers, former undersecretary of defense for intelligence from 2011 to 2015, write an “Open Letter” to Donald Trump in the Washington Post. Both writers have served in Democratic and Republican administrations, and have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Morell and Vickers: An open letter to Donald Trump:
Mr. Trump, with all due respect to you as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, you cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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At the Commander-in-Chief forum on Wednesday, you said that as long as Putin says nice things about you, you will say nice things about him. That is not a standard on which a candidate, or a president, should make policy decisions. That should not even enter your calculus. Your only question should be, “What is in the best interests of the United States?”
So, here is our challenge: Demand that Putin stop his aggressive behavior overseas. Demand that he stop his dictatorial moves at home. Tell him that you will live up to our NATO commitments and defend the Baltics, if need be. Tell him that you want to work with him on solving the problems in the world — but that he must behave in order to do so. That is what a true commander in chief would do.