Donald Trump has Tweeted his disapproval of the sanctions bill he was essentially forced to sign. This comes after a strongly worded statement which challenged both the Constitutionality and efficacy of the sanctions.
Now, Donald Trump has Tweeted the following,
Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2017
With Congress voting overwhelmingly in favour of the sanctions and both Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing their open opposition to the move, it is fair to describe the state which exists between the Republican controlled Congress and the Republican controlled White House as one of political cold war.
For all the innuendo suggesting otherwise and for all of the Trump administration’s general lack of direction in foreign affairs, it appears as though Trump’s long stated view that the US should work to improve relations with Russia, is a genuinely held belief.
This was affirmed by Russia when Vladimir Putin said the following,
“Mr Trump’s television image is very different from the real person; he is a very down to earth and direct person, and he has an absolutely adequate attitude towards the person he is talking with; he analyses things pretty fast and answers the questions he is asked or new ones that arise in the course of the discussion. So I think that if we build our relations in the vein of our yesterday’s meeting, there are good reasons to believe that we will be able to revive, at least partially, the level of interaction that we need”.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s Presidential Spokesmen later added,
“Accusations that Trump is somewhat incompetent or that he is a novice, can be classified as delusional trash. Trump is not some simpleton. He has expert knowledge, he is a very determined negotiator and skillful at using his knowledge to put his position across”.
In spite of accomplishing few tangible agreements at the meeting with the Russian President, beyond the important agreement to jointly enforce a de-escalation zone in south western Syria along with Russia and Jordan, it is becoming apparent that Trump’s feelings about Russia are neither contrived nor politicised, not least because his views on Russia have done the opposite of gain him political capital in Washington, including among his own party’s elites.
The danger for Congress was that Trump might have succeeded, even a little bit, in fostering better relations with Moscow, thus foiling the mythical narrative about Trump’s allegedly personally beneficial Russian connections.
By acting in a spiteful and vengeful way, Congress is not only undermining America’s financial interests in Europe and beyond, undermining relations between nuclear powers and driving a wedge between a united Russia and China vis-a-vis the United States, but they are putting a petty political narrative above preserving the authority and credibility of the President.
Congress was hellbent on ruining any prospect for improved relations with Russia and today, Donald Trump has clearly and unambiguously articulated why they have at least temporarily won this salvo in their cold war against POTUS.