President Donald Trump is in the eye of a storm in the U.S. for blaming American security agencies and praising Russian President Vladimir Putin after a summit meeting between the two in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday. A vast array of political leaders and strategic commentators have accused the President of compromising American national interest.
Former CIA Director John Brennan denounced Mr. Trump’s approach to Russia and Mr. Putin as “treasonous.” “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” he posted on Twitter.
‘Nothing in return’
Former Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said: “In my almost four decades with national defence starting in the Pentagon under Ronald Reagan, I never saw or imagined so uneven a handover of American security interests and principles with nothing in return at a meeting. It was like watching the destruction of a cathedral.”
The mainstream commentary has focussed on the President’s refusal to endorse the claim by American intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. William Tobey, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, said: “This wilful obliviousness to hard evidence of Russian cyberattacks amounts to failure to execute his office and to defend the Constitution.”
But Senator Rand Paul supported Mr. Trump. “We must find a way to keep our historic allies, while realizing that threatening Russia through NATO expansion is not the answer,” he said.
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