It is my contention that Russia has already influenced U.S. foreign policy due to their ties with the republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. It already is a matter of record that the original planned wording regarding Russia and Ukraine was omitted during the formulation process of the 2016 republican platform. Mr. Trump and his campaign manager Paul Manafort have both denied having any involvement with the republican platform officials’ deleting the phrase that the U.S would arm Ukrainian rebels to insure them of their independence from Russia.
This is a lie. There are delegates (who have stated for the record) who observed Donald Trump’s campaign aids specifically request of the delegates that they exclude the specific wording about arming the Ukrainian rebels.
According to the 4/23/16 Telegraph-UK article, “Can Trump’s new campaign adviser do for The Donald what he did for African tyrants and a Ukrainian kleptocrat?,” by Rob Crilly, “The Washington operative, Mr. Manafort’s has an extraordinary past roster of clients, including Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines, Unita rebels in Angola and Siad Barre, the military ruler of Somalia until its downfall in 1991.”
But according to Mr. Crilly, he is best known for his campaign management of the pro Russian Ukrainian candidate, Viktor Yanukovych who became president in 2010; and this is after he had lost a previous 2004 election under the taint of having rigged the election process and for being branded as Vladimir Putin’s stooge. To win, Mr. Yanukovych changed his appearance to look less Russian; he stopped voicing his pro Russian rhetoric and he promised to sign Ukraine up to be part of the European Union. Of course, he reneged on this commitment which led to his ouster.
There are other of Donald Trump’s off the cuff comments that concern me regarding the U.S. policy towards Russia being manipulated to be much more favorable than it has been for the past 30 plus years through multiple administrations. For example, President Vladimir Putin has been anti-NATO’s influence for years and now, Donald Trump has been making similar critical statements regarding NATO.
Recently, Donald Trump said something along the lines that Russia would not invade Ukraine when they already have infiltrated Crimea, a part of Ukraine. The Russian incursion into Crimea started in March 2014 when unmarked Russian soldiers seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, after Ukraine ousted their pro-Moscow leader (Viktor Yanukovych) in mid September 2015. Crimea was then annexed to Russia and not Ukraine. In response the NATO Allies sent a message that this annexation would not be accepted in the worlds’ stage and this is when stringent sanctions were enacted against Russia.
But now, Donald Trump has commented that he might let Russia take Crimea.
According to 7/31/16 CNN News article, “Trump says Putin is “not going into Ukraine,” despite Crimea,” by Eric Bradner And the following are some excerpts:
“Donald Trump said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t make a military move into Ukraine-even though Putin has already has done just that, seizing the country’s Crimean Peninsula.”
“He is not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want,” Trump said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “Well, he is already there, isn’t he?” Stephanopoulos responded in reference to Crimea, which Putin took from Ukraine in early 2014.”
“Trump said: “OK–well, he’s there in a certain way. But I’m not there. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama with all the strength that you’re talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this. In the meantime, he’s going away. He takes Crimea.”
The top investigative reporter who has been doing the most research into connecting the dots among the players, Donald Trump, his key employees with Russian ties, Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin; and the resulting U.S. policy changes regarding Russia is Josh Rogin of the Washington Post. Here are excerpts from his 7/27/16 article, “A Trump Style Speculation On The GOP and Putin:”
“The candidate’s real estate empire, unable to borrow from most U.S. banks, gets capital from Russian sources. Such transfers couldn’t occur without Putin’s blessing.”
“The candidate’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has worked extensively for pro-Putin oligarchs.”
“One of the candidate’s foreign policy advisers, Michael Flynn was filmed sitting with Putin at a Moscow banquet celebrating a Russian propaganda network.” (Disgruntled Lt. Gen. Michael “Lock her up” Flynn takes money from the Russian government’s propaganda company. He’s a Kremlin shill. (twitter.com) by Michael Crowley 7/20/16))
“Another adviser, Carter Page , has close ties to Gazprom, the Russian energy company under Putin’s thumb.”
“One of the only interferences the campaign made in the Republican platform was to remove language calling for providing” lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.”
“The candidate cast doubt on the utility of NATO and said he might not come to the aid of Baltic members of the alliance attacked by Russia.”
“Putin has aimed to destabilize rival powers by supporting extremist parties in several European countries. His state news outlets have been heavily supportive of the candidate.”
“The Russian ambassador to the United States attended a campaign speech by the candidate, and Putin described the candidate as talented. The candidate said he was honored.”
The above details would be excellent fodder for a book of fiction with the main character being an unwitting U.S. President who had a long history as a susceptible politician who was propped up by flattery and financial assistance by Russian spies, so that he could be groomed to eventually do their bidding after he proceeded to buy the U.S. presidency. High level politicians of his same party lacked the will to stop him. It takes a surprising hero of the Muslim faith to stand up to this fictional potential president to give courage to others to do likewise.
Donald Trump has a well known habit of floating speculation/ conspiracy theories with words like “I heard from somewhere;” “A lot of people have been saying;” “There is something that we need to know more about,”etc. This time Josh Rogin turns the table and casts inferences by channeling some of Donald Trump’s phraseology:
“A lot of people have said Putin is trying to get Trump elected so he can blackmail the American president. Somebody told me Trump would completely go out of business if Putin took back all the Russian money he let Trump have. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I just heard Trump’s airplane would be grounded immediately.”
“Manafort helping the oligarchs? Flynn having dinner with Putin? Page getting money from Gazprom? No coincidence! Now it’s coming out that Putin wants to destabilize America. There’s something fishy about the whole thing.”
“And why did Trump propose changing NATO and Ukraine policy in ways that would benefit Putin? Obviously some people think it’s evil intentions. I think it’s incompetence. Regardless, a lot of people think it’s evil intentions.”
David Cay Johnston: 21 Questions for Trump on Kickbacks …http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/19/david_cay_johnston_21_questions_forDavid Cay Johnston is an investigative reporter previously with The New York Times.