Let’s hope special counsel Robert Mueller gets to the bottom soon of Donald Trump’s strange dalliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The plot thickened last week as the GOP-led Senate narrowly rejected a Democratic bid to prevent the administration from lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch and Putin crony Oleg Deripaska, who also did business with Paul Manafort, Trump’s disgraced former campaign manager.
Once again, President Trump appears to be bending over backward to curry favor with Putin. His infinite tolerance of Russia’s interference in U.S. politics and its well-documented online “malign influence” campaign stands in weird contrast to his churlish behavior toward America’s actual friends.
Trump routinely denigrates America’s oldest and strongest allies in Europe as trade cheaters and security freeloaders. A small but telling example has recently come to light: The State Department last year quietly downgraded the diplomatic status of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.