Back in October, Donald Trump Says He Might Meet With Putin Before Inauguration. “If I win on Nov. 8, I could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration.”
On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation Monday that relations between their countries were “unsatisfactory” and vowed to work together to improve them, the Kremlin said in a statement. Trump, Putin agree in phone call to improve ‘unsatisfactory’ relations between their countries, Kremlin says:
The statement said the two leaders discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about “a settlement for the crisis in Syria” and agreed their aides would begin working toward a face-to-face meeting between them.
Trump’s office said in a statement that Putin had called to “offer his congratulations” and that the two had discussed “a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years.”
Although Trump’s statement did not mention Syria or other specific issues, it said that he told Putin “that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the People of Russia.”
Yeah, the American people need to know more about what was discussed between Putin and Trump in that phone call, because the very next day the Russians began a new offensive on Aleppo against Syrian rebels fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime. Russia deploys new aircraft carrier as new Syria offensive begins:
Russia has begun a major military campaign on rebel-held parts of Syria after the country’s biggest surface deployment since the Cold War docked at a naval base on the Syrian coast.
Tthe new strikes on Homs and Idlib provinces are designed to wipe out al-Qaeda affiliated and Isis fighters, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
While he did not mention besieged east Aleppo, residents and activists in the city report dozens of strikes have hit opposition-held neighbourhoods in the last 48 hours, killing at least five civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Today, we started a major operation to launch massive strikes on [Isis] and al-Nusra Front targets in the Idlib and Homs provinces [in Syria],” Mr. Shoigu said on Tuesday.
“For the first time in the history of participation of the Russian Navy in operations, the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrying cruiser began taking part. Our Su-33 aircraft began working from this cruiser today. Before this, we carried out very careful, thorough reconnaissance of all targets,” he said.
The formidable Admiral Kuznetsov – commissioned in 1990 and recently refitted at a cost thought to exceed $1billion – is capable of launching cruise missiles at targets up to 250 miles (400 km) away. Mr Shoigu said that strikes will target weapons depots and arms factories used by rebels.
The blitz comes the day after a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump in which the Kremlin said the two agreed on their “number one enemy” of international “extremism and terrorism.”
[The] aerial campaigns are now backed up with the huge Black Sea naval deployment: the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier joins the Admiral Grigorovic and the Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) nuclear-powered battle cruiser, both of which arrived at the Russian naval base in the regime stronghold of Latakia on the Mediterranean two weeks ago.
While British navy officials dismissed the huge deployment as “posturing,” the fleet poses a serious threat to rebels fighting the Russian-backed regime in Syria’s bloody civil war.
The threat of the ships’ firepower has in effect cut off any possibility of aerial intervention by the US-led Western coalition, which broadly supports Syria’s rebels in the six-year-old conflict.
Nato intelligence had previously warned that Mr. Putin was planning a huge assault on Aleppo while the US was distracted by the November 8 election and its aftermath.
Senator John McCain, who backs the Syrian rebels fighting the Syrian regime, is beside himself. McCain says US reset with Russia would be ‘unacceptable’:
In a statement issued Tuesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the price of starting anew with Moscow would be U.S. complicity in the “butchery of the Syrian people” being carried out by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“That is an unacceptable price for a great nation,” McCain said. “When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side of those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again.”
McCain, the Armed Services Committee chairman, dismissed Putin as a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political rivals and threatened U.S. allies.
President-elect Donald Trump and Putin spoke by telephone Monday to discuss future efforts to improve U.S.-Russian ties. Trump’s office said in a statement that he is looking forward to having a “strong and enduring relationship with Russia.”
Trump spoke favorably of Putin during the presidential campaign, but he outlined few specifics as to how he would go about recalibrating ties with Russia that had become badly frayed during Barack Obama’s presidency.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a foreign policy hawk and close friend of McCain’s, said Tuesday he plans to hold hearings on “Russia’s misadventures throughout the world.” Among the areas he wants to examine is whether Russia had a role in the hacking of Democratic Party organizations before the election.
“When it comes to all things Russia, I am going to be hard ass,” said Graham, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that controls foreign aid spending. Republicans can’t “sit on the sidelines” and let allegations that a foreign government interfered in a U.S. election go unanswered because it may have been temporarily beneficial to the GOP’s cause, he said.
“This is a defining moment for the country,” Graham said. “I want a good relationship with Russia, but things have to substantially change.”
The Russians are not fighting against ISIS terrorists, they are fighting against the rebel forces aligned against their puppet regime of Bashar al-Assad, the “butcher of Aleppo.” All the Russians really care about is maintaining the Russian naval facility in Tartus, Syria, and projecting military power in the region. Putin doesn’t care how many Syrians have to die in defense of its puppet regime, or the total destruction of Aleppo.
Did Donald Trump indicate to Vladimir Putin that he would not object to the latest Russian offensive in Syria? Is Trump aligning the U.S. with Russia to maintain their puppet regime of Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria? Will Trump cut off military aid to U.S. backed rebels in Syria? Was the current president of the United States advised of the full content of the conversation between Trump and Putin? These are some of the questions for which Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham should be demanding answers.