Trump’s campaign rhetoric about cooperating with Russia in combating terrorism was bluster without follow-through, according to AP News, saying:
“[He’s] …telling advisers and allies that he may shelve, at least temporarily, his plan to pursue a deal with Moscow on the Islamic State group and other national security matters, according to administration officials and Western diplomats.”
It doesn’t surprise given longstanding US hostility toward Russia, especially during the Cold War and Putin’s tenure.
Trump stacked his administration with defense, national and homeland security hardliners. Reportedly he intends appointing Russophobe Fiona Hill as White House Director for Europe and Russia. She called Putin a “Mafia Don,” said “(b)lackmail and intimidation are part of his stock and trade.”
In response to candidate Trump urging better relations with Russia, opposition ["Deep State"] forces launched a campaign to delegitimize him. According to AP, Defense Secretary Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster want tough anti-Moscow policies continued.
“During his first meeting with National Security Council staff, McMaster described Russia – as well as China – as a country that wants to upend the current world order, according to an administration official who attended the meeting,” said AP.
Key European allies urge no softening in US/Russia relations. Trump administration hardliners falsely claimed Moscow violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The Big Lie about nonexistent “Russian aggression” in Ukraine persists.
“The president and his advisers have yet to settle on a formal approach to Russia, and discussions about how to proceed are still in early phases,” said AP.
After firing Michael Flynn, Trump said “(i)t would be unpopular for a politician to make a deal. It would be much easier for me to be so tough – the tougher I am on Russia,” the better.
After only a few weeks in office, he was co-opted to stay hardline on Russia, China, Iran and other sovereign independent countries – indicating no change in imperial recklessness on his watch.
It’s evident from harsh rhetoric by administration officials, continued US aggression in multiple theaters, including Pentagon terror-bombing of Yemen on the phony pretext of combating al-Qaeda Washington supports.
It’s clear from provocatively maintaining thousands of US-led NATO forces on Russia’s borders, challenging China in its own waters, harsh rhetoric on Iran, and Secretary of State Tillerson saying he’ll seek “transition to democratic rule in Venezuela” – code language for plotting regime change.
Hoped for responsible change under Trump was always wishful thinking. Stepping back from the brink didn’t happen.
Endless wars continue, maybe new ones planned. The threat of direct confrontation with Russia and China remain. Trump’s campaign pledge to combat terrorism was meaningless bluster.
On Saturday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will continue combating terrorism on its own – the scourge Washington created and supports.