With the long-awaited conclusion of Robert Mueller’s probe, President Donald Trump has finally been cleared of the false allegation that his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election. And out with that goes the accusation that Trump has been “soft on Russia” because Vladimir Putin had some sort of “hold” on him.
In reality, if anyone was guilty of being “soft on Russia,” it was former President Barack Obama, whose weak leadership practically made him a “Russian stooge,” argued National Review editor Rich Lowry.
Eight years of Obama
Remember when Mitt Romney was running against Obama in 2012? Romney put Russia at the top of our enemy list — and was laughed at by the Obama administration and the media. Finally, years later, journalists are now admitting that Romney was right.
Let’s go back to when Obama first took office and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously offered the “reset button” to the Russians. Obama quickly backed off the Russians in 2008 and reduced U.S. nuclear stockpiles — but did not ensure that the Russians did the same.
How about the Iran deal, a deal made with a known Russian ally that allowed Iran to preserve its nuclear program?
Under the Obama administration, the war on fossil fuels was elevated to new levels. This too helped Russia, as its economy thrives on high oil prices.
During Obama’s eight years as leader of the free world, an unfriendly and aggressive Russia “invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, propped up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and interfered in the 2016 election,” the Washington Free Beacon summarized.
No match for Russia
All this sure doesn’t make Obama look like much of a leader. “Put all of this together, and it’s impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge — and not out of any nefarious dealings, but out of his own naïveté and weakness,” argued Lowry in an op-ed for the New York Post.
Now, let’s fast forward to the 2016 election. We know that the Obama administration had been alerted about Russian activity in our elections almost two full years before the presidential election took place. Obama gave them a slap on the wrist — and nothing more.
Point being, Obama knew the Russians were trying to mess with the election — and he failed to take effective action. Even Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) later called the failure to do so “a very serious mistake.”
Meanwhile, it’s “crazy talk” to say Trump hasn’t been tough on Russia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month. “And I’ve heard it — I’ve heard it from the previous administration. They say, ‘Oh, we’re not tough on Russia.’ I only wish they would have stopped the election interference,” he added.
Trump increased the U.S. military budget that was restricted under Obama, imposed tough sanctions on Russians, and hasn’t hesitated to target Russian interests in Syria and Iran, along with helping Ukraine.
As for the critics who complain that Trump’s tone toward Putin sounds too friendly? Pompeo explained that the U.S. hopes to keep relations diplomatic as much as possible. “There are places that we’ll have a value set that is radically different, that we’ll have different views. In those places we’re going to protect America’s interests,” he said. “But in those places where we can find common ground or an overlapping interest, it’s completely appropriate, and, indeed, my duty and a necessity, that we work together.”