• Trump under fire for saying he respects ‘killer’ Putin

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    PALM BEACH: President Donald Trump is drawing fire from Republicans and Democrats alike after playing down political assassinations in Russia and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Trump — now two weeks into his four-year term — showed no signs of yielding to demands from within his own Republican Party to distance himself from President Vladimir Putin’s regime, instead plunging himself into a fresh political firestorm.

    “I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with them,” Trump said in an excerpt of an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday.

    When pressed in relation to Putin’s alleged links to the extrajudicial killing of journalists and dissidents, Trump said, “we’ve got a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

    “Take a look at what we’ve done too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes.”

    Trump’s fellow Republicans, including Senate leader Mitch McConnell, were quick to criticize the president’s remarks.

    “I don’t think there is any equivalency with the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does,” McConnell said.

    “He is a former KGB agent, a thug, not elected in a way that most people consider a credible election,” he told CNN.

    That criticism was echoed by Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia and advisor to president Barack Obama, who described Trump’s comments as “disgusting.”

    “This moral equivalency that Trumps continues to draw between the USA and Russia is disgusting (and inaccurate),” he said on Twitter.

    ‘Major fight’ against IS

    Mainstream Republicans have repeatedly called on Trump to distance himself from Putin, with little impact.

    Throughout the election campaign, Trump refused to criticize the Russian leader, saying better relations with the Kremlin would be in the US national interest.

    The new president has advocated working with Russia to combat the Islamic State group in Syria.

    “If Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all around the world, major fight. That’s a good thing,” Trump told Fox.

    Moscow has deployed aircraft, naval assets and troops to Syria, but has so far trained its fire on rebels with the aim of propping up President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    In December, US intelligence agencies went public with their view that Russia conducted a hack-and-release campaign aimed at swinging the US election in Trump’s favor.

    Trump’s repeated criticism of NATO — a common target for Putin — has only fueled suspicions that Trump is ready to side with Moscow over allies in Europe.

    Across Europe, there are growing concerns that the continent might be wedged between a hostile Russia and a hostile United States.

    Trump’s stance on Ukraine has also raised eyebrows. After a call with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko on Saturday, the White House said the pair addressed “Ukraine’s long-running conflict with Russia.”

    Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in March 2014 and has supported separatists in the east of the country.

    Former national security advisor Susan Rice publicly criticized Trump’s framing of the situation.

    “This distortion of even recent history is deeply troubling,” she tweeted.

    ‘We’re watching’

    Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence tried to explain the administration’s approach to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which had flared after Trump and Putin spoke by telephone a week ago.

    “We’re watching, and (we’re) very troubled by the increased hostilities over the past week in eastern Ukraine,” Pence told ABC’s “This Week” news program.

    The Kremlin said that during the Trump-Putin call the two men had discussed improving economic relations, a potential signal of Trump’s willingness to lift sanctions on Russia.

    Asked whether the administration would be willing to ease sanctions while Russia is violating ceasefire agreements, Pence demurred.

    “I think that’s a question that will be answered in the months ahead. And it just simply all depends,” he said.

    “If we have opportunities to work together, I think the president is looking for an opportunity to begin that relationship anew.

    “But make no mistake about it — those decisions will await action. And they’ll be very dependent on how the Russians respond in the days ahead.” AFP

    AFP/CC

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    1 Comment

    1. Some Republicans and Democrats are panicking about President Trump establishing a good relationship with Putin. This is not a rocket science. These contrarians could not read the strategy of Donald. Here is the thing – Trump needs the support of Putin to easily defeat ISIS. There are another problems America is facing – to silence or defeat North Korea and China. If Trump wins the trust of Putin, Russia will be neutral in case there will war between the US and China. Russia during WWII joined the allies when Hitler was about to fall. Russia will join the winner. There is a good teamwork between the US Secretary of State and Secretary of defense. The first is more aggressive than the latter. This remind me when I was a child I heard from the old folks in Tagalog, ” KUNG HINDI MAKUHA SA SANTONG DASALAN, KAILANGAN KUHANIN SA SANTONG BAYABASAN.” This will happen in the China and North Korea abuses. The USA will try to drive away China from the artificial islands by all diplomatic means. Otherwise, BOOM!!! North Korea has only one solution. America is already aiming that F..king Jong on the bullseye and will click the trigger when the right time comes. Today the protesters against Trump are nothing but obstructionists of the agenda of Trump to make America Great Again. Trump will prevail at the end. Trump was pictured as underdog during the primary. Then he won. During the general election it was repeated. The Democrats and some Republicans were throwing dirts on Trump. Then Trump won the presidency. NGAYON PA? NASA KAY TRUMP NA ANG POWER. TUMABI NA LANG KAYO. TRUMP always play to win at the end of the game.