Questions about Trump’s Russia connections could hinder closer relations

Growing political pressure on Trump to stand up to Putin rather than work with him could even escalate tensions between the United States and Russia to dangerous levels.

U.S. officials, Russia experts and Kremlin officials are all lowering their expectations for a thaw in relations after the ouster of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for misrepresenting his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and reports that Trump aides were in touch with Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign…

“It feels to a lot of us like something’s off” about the Trump team’s thinking on Moscow, said one career government official whose duties include Russia.

But, the official added: “After the past 48 hours, I think it’s unlikely they’re going to push this hard anytime soon.”