How Trump Can Play Nice With Russia, Without Selling Out America

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During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump was a whirlwind of vagaries and contradictions when it came to foreign policy, making it difficult to predict how his new administration will approach dozens of international issues. On Russia, however, he was clear and consistent. He praised President Vladimir Putin often, defended many of Putin’s policies, and declared with enthusiasm, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia?” Since his election, Trump has persisted in defending Putin, questioning in multiple tweets and comments the intelligence community’s assessment regarding Russia’s interference in our electoral process last year. In nominating Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, Trump is proposing for Senate approval the perfect emissary for improving relations with the Kremlin. Along with Henry Kissinger and Steven Seagal, Tillerson is one of the very few Americans to have enjoyed direct and sustained access to Putin in recent years. The conditions seem set for another reset with Russia.

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