Donald J. Trump’s doubling down over whether Russian strongman Vladimir Putin deserves his “respect” has drawn criticism from expected and — in the eyes of some — unexpected sources.
The surprise seems to be coming from congressional Republicans who are none too happy with the president’s equating U.S. and Russian behavior.
Some have called Trump’s seeming defense of Putin’s history of murder and mayhem an indefensible position.
According to Politico: “He’s a thug,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of Putin on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The Russians annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine and messed around in our elections. No, I don’t think there’s any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does.”
There’s also that issue of alleged murder of journalists and dissidents in Russia.
Trump’s interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly has been broadcast tonight and it appears to illustrate quite graphically the president’s misplaced priorities in our geopolitical relationships. Putin is a bad guy, but the president wants the United States to “get along with Russia.”
Politico reported further: “I’m not going to critique the president’s every utterance,” the Senate leader said. “But I do think America is exceptional, America is different. We don’t operate in any way the way the Russians do. I think there’s a clear distinction here that all Americans understand, and I would not have characterized it that way.”
Trump doesn’t get it. He isn’t going to acknowledge the United States’ continued status as the greatest nation on Earth. He has vowed to “make America great again.” I would submit that giving the Russian thugs who run things in the Kremlin a pass on their behavior is no way to restore a level of greatness that’s not been lost.
Are the Republicans in Congress finally going to start asking themselves: Is this what we really want in a commander in chief?