Add this to the growing pile of things America never thought it would see during Trump’s first hundred days.
Putin comparing Trump unfavorably to Obama is as close as you can get to a nuclear strike without the radiation. You realize that the two chief combatants in the Cold War are now led by world-class trolls, yes?
“One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved but has rather deteriorated,” Putin said in an interview broadcast on Russian television…
One of Lavrov’s deputies was even more undiplomatic.
“In general, primitiveness and loutishness are very characteristic of the current rhetoric coming out of Washington. We’ll hope that this doesn’t become the substance of American policy,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s state-owned RIA news agency.
Despite the harsh words for his boss, and despite signals a few days ago that he wouldn’t meet with him during his visit to Moscow, Putin decided to grant his old friend Rex Tillerson an audience today in Moscow after all. Could … this have been the deciding factor?
With one offhand remark, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left European diplomats befuddled at a gathering in Italy.
“Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?” Tillerson asked foreign ministers discussing Russia’s intervention there at a Group of Seven gathering Tuesday in Lucca, Italy.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who later recounted the exchange to reporters, said he responded that American taxpayers ought to want a European Union that’s “strong politically, strong from a security point of view, and strong economically.”
“Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?” is a comment that’ll earn you a handshake at the Kremlin any day of the week. How that squares with Nikki Haley’s hawkish tough talk on Ukraine is anyone’s guess, but if Trump is okay with his Secretary of State and his UN ambassador running two different foreign policies, I guess Russia will have to be okay with it too. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, greeted Tillerson today by complaining about “the extremely ambiguous and sometimes contradictory ideas which have been expressed in Washington across the whole spectrum of bilateral and multilateral affairs.” If you think Russia’s annoyed and confused, imagine how Tillerson feels.
Here’s Trump in his new interview with Maria Bartiromo marveling that Russia would be backing “truly an evil person” in Bashar Assad. Are we sure this is the same guy who once answered criticism of Putin for murdering journalists by observing cavalierly that the U.S. does plenty of bad things too? Or has the “deep state” pulled off its greatest trick yet by replacing him with an impostor?