Does it surprise anyone at all that Donald Trump is defending Vladimir Putin? After the Russian President praised the GOP candidate, Trump has reciprocated and has now even defended Mr. Putin against attacks from the media. Though I don’t think that Vladimir Putin may be the most trustworthy person to deal with, I do have to say I agree with him and Trump when they say that we must have closer ties between our countries. That is something that the last two Presidents have badly damaged.
Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week, Mr. Trump was questioned about Vladimir Putin and Russia a few times. Most of his answers were deflections and evasions at best, while one was an outright lie. He was asked about Russian invasions, the murder of journalists and critics, and then about Iran. The answers seemed somewhat rambling at times as if he were just trying to fill the air with words instead of actual answers.
When Trump was asked about Russia invading Crimea and the Ukraine, he responded by saying we invade places too. He stated that we invaded Iraq and Libya and both of those turned out badly and destabilized both places. That isn’t completely true, of course. We did invade Iraq, under false pretenses. However, US forces never invaded Libya. We did use US air power to support the UN no-fly zone and bombing campaign, but we never sent the Army or Marines into the country despite a lot of Republican talk.
Then we come to the biggest complaint of the day from Trump. He was asked about Mr. Putin’s murdering of journalists and opposition leaders. Mr. Trump’s response to this was that there was no proof of these allegations and that President Putin has denied them. Well, of course he has denied them. However, it is more than a little suspicious that so many of these people have died on his rise to power and to maintain it. Donald Trump may say there is no proof, but there is certainly a whole lot of circumstantial evidence piled up for any prosecutor to make a case against him.
Finally like all the other Republican candidates in the race Donald Trump had to slam the Iran Nuclear Deal when it was brought up. First he claimed that America would be giving Iran 150 billion dollars. That isn’t true. Banks around the world will unfreeze their assets, which high estimates place at 150 billion, but Iran will have to pay billions to their creditors, primarily China, which was likely a condition of getting China to support this deal in the first place.
He then stated that because of this terrible deal we have empowered Iran more than Russia ever has. It is his contention that Iran doesn’t have to make a nuclear weapon they can just buy one with the billions of dollars they are going to get from this deal. However, most estimates are that even after paying some of their debts they will only really be left with a third of their frozen assets after they are released. Even if they go against the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which they’ve signed, There is no telling how much it would cost or where that nuclear material is supposed to come from.
Despite what Mr. Trump might believe though, Russia has certainly been a stronger force in empowering Iran than we have. For twenty years Russia has been selling them weapons since they broke a secret treaty with the United States not to sell to Iran. Part of the reason the Iranian economy has been in such a terrible state was because they bought those weapons. This is just more proof that Donald Trump doesn’t know all that much about foreign affairs and shouldn’t be the next President of the United States.