While reports of Russian moles at the highest levels of the US government are swirling and we’re all busy calling our representatives to urge an independent investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, I thought a bit of news from over there would be just the thing. Here are some tidbits from the Russian press of the past few days about the Flynn debacle and US-Russian relations generally, selected, excerpted and faithfully translated by yours truly.
“After Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in the margins of the G20 in Bonn, Lavrov was asked what he thought of Michael Flynn being forced to resign after it became known that he had lied about his phone conversation in late December with the Russian Ambassador to the US.
The Foreign Minister of Russia replied that Moscow does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.”
Trump says that Obama was too soft on Russia with regard to the Crimea
Mattis says that the US will deal with Russia from a position of strength
Ukraine is pleased by Trump’s statement on the Crimea
“A leading expert on Russian foreign policy and deputy director of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Dmitri Suslov said that the meeting was important because during Tillerson’s confirmation process, Flynn had been the primary U.S. interlocutor with Russia, for which he had paid dearly.
Suslov also said that it was unlikely that Trump could make any significant concessions to Russia in the near future, given that the White House was under constant pressure owing to its alleged ties with Russian government bodies. “Flynn’s resignation is direct confirmation of that,” said Suslov.”
The Prime Minister of Slovenia said that his country could serve as a bridge between Russia and the United States, hosting a first meeting between Trump and Putin. The first meeting between George W. Bush and Putin was held in Slovenia in 2001.
Argumenty i Facty:
On Trump’s press conference:
“… he fielded numerous questions from reporters, but his behavior as he did so was overwrought and not fully coherent.”
Pressure on the Trump administration is growing by the day. It’s hard to know even what will become of Sean Spicer, about whom there have been reports that Trump is dissatisfied with his work. The White House press secretary managed to get off on a bad footing with journalists right away, promoting the new US leader’s positions based on “alternative facts” (i.e., untruth)… Trump’s advisors are like a fire brigade, reeling from one tv news show to another, explaining, one after the other, that the President didn’t really mean what he said on camera or what he himself wrote on Twitter… All of this only serves to confirm predictions, some of them going back quite a while, that the Donald Trump administration would behave in absolutely unpredictable and impulsive ways. Commentators warned that this would be a threat to international relations, among other things. But those who were charmed by Trump did not believe them. Some thought that once he was elected, the billionaire would mend his ways. Some made no secret of their intention to profit from the chaos. (Literally, “to catch fish in the waters muddied by Trump.”) Statements both official and unofficial by Russian representatives left no doubt as to the fact that they were counting on the latter. Now, they, like many others, are starting to bid their illusions goodbye. And we can’t even say that it’s happening very fast, because they–and we–were warned.”
Russia has no reason to be either pleased or disappointed with the statements made by representatives of the US administration, said Dmitri Peskov, press secretary to the President of the Russian Federation.
“As to whether we are pleased or disappointed (with the first month of President Trump’s administration), we have been saying for some months now that we never viewed him through rose-colored glasses and never had excessive illusions, so there is now no cause for disappointment,” he said.
At a large press conference for Russian president Vladimir Putim, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, an American newspaper, asked about the possibility of early presidential elections in 2017.
“In what country?” inquired the Russian leader, as his interlocutor had not specified this. The room greeted the remark with laughter and applause.
“It’s possible [early elections-Trud]. But it would be unwise,” added Putin.
It’s too soon to say whether Donald Trump will be as successful in his presidency as he has been in his business endeavors. But it’s already clear that he has achieved great heights thanks to intelligence, hard work, good fortune and also strong backing from his family.
“General Flynn’s resignation letter stated… that Flynn allegedly had unsanctioned contacts with the Russian ambassador, according to the Justice Department (actually, the FBI). It would seem that the National Security Advisor is supposed to have contact with foreign ambassadors and officials. But not in this case. It was supposedly an unsanctioned contact. Interesting and illogical, isn’t it? After all, he wasn’t meeting with the ambassador secretly in a park, like an agent with a spymaster, but talking with him fairly openly, by phone, in the accepted way. But during that conversation the General supposedly told the ambassador to pay no attention to the hostile acts of the departing Obama administration, since the new administration would make things right. And now the military general, who sat at the same table with Putin at a banquet hosted by the Russia Today television station, has gone to pieces in the face of the general “anti-Russian hysteria” being ratcheted up in the US and now reaching unheard-of levels. Trump himself did not ask his nominee to step down–the General lost his nerve and departed on his own, leaving the administration looking damaged and weak. The rats leave, and that’s when the ship sinks. Or they give in and switch their position. The suggestion that Flynn and Mnuchin might swap roles is hardly one to take seriously.”