During an appearance on “FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace” this morning, Sen. Tom Cotton, a supporter of President Donald J. Trump who served Army combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that Trump’s policies are nothing like a pro-Russia agenda, which would include efforts to “slash defense spending” and halt the production of domestic energy like oil and gas.
President Trump, to the contrary, has called for a yuge increase in Defense spending, ordered the completion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and vowed to revive the domestic coal industry.
Here are Cotton’s words from the transcript published by Fox News:
COTTON: President Trump has appointed members to his cabinet and they’ve made deliberate statements that have been tougher on Russia than anything President Obama ever did.
If you want to know what a pro-Russia policy would look like, Chris, here are some elements of it. You’d slash defense spending. You’d slow down our nuclear modernization. You’d roll back missile defense systems. You would enter a one-sided nuclear arms control agreement. And you’d try to do everything you could to stop oil and gas production.
That was Barack Obama’s policy for eight years. That’s not Donald Trump’s policy. None of those things are good for Russia that Donald Trump’s proposed to do to roll back some of those Obama era policies.
As Scott Johnson summed it up at Powerline, “In a sane world, the proposition that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and the underlying theme that the Russian government preferred Hillary Clinton would have to contend with events that belie it.”
Johnson went on to remind us that Obama adopted policies that aligned with Russia’s in the Middle East. And Russia can thank Obama for its new prominence in the Middle East.
And as my colleague Mickey White reports, President Trump reminded us this morning that Obama himself asked Russian President Dmitri Medevedev to tell Putin that he would have “more flexibility” to accommodate Putin after the 2012 election.
In January Senator Cotton pointed out that Obama also “undermined” Congressional efforts to confront Russia.
One could argue, as Hillary herself did, that Vladimir Putin’s alleged involvement in the hacking of the Democrats’ organizations during the 2016 presidential election was the result of a grudge Putin holds against Hillary because of statements she made in 2011 calling into question the validity of a Russian parliamentary election. In addition Hillary served as Obama’s fool in her botched Russian “reset.”
Still, considering all this, it’s hard to see why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary.