With an American President still refusing to flatly accept overwhelming evidence that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, much less order strict retaliation, Vladimir Putin seems emboldened to launch a global reign of terror against his nation’s perceived enemies.
And so, it appears to fall on Theresa May to step up as de facto leader of the free world.
Wednesday, the British prime minister expelled 23 Russian diplomats — retaliation for the attempted murder of ex-Russian and British double agent Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. Despite Russian denials, British intelligence is confident that the Kremlin was behind the nerve gas attack.
Yet even as he pledged solidarity with the UK, President Trump remains uncharacteristically reticent and circumspect with respect to Putin’s Russia. It was up to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to deplore “Russia’s crimes.”
Meanwhile, Trump continues to downplay Russia’s election interference and slow-walks retaliatory sanctions passed by Congress — all with odious cover from his partisan allies.
In prematurely shutting down its Russia inquiry this week, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee went beyond stating there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. They even denied what is now well established in multiple reports: that the Russians intended to help Trump.
It’s the handiwork of committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who attempted to sabotage the probe at every step — from sharing committee information to the White House to orchestrating a partisan memo smearing the FBI’s legitimate surveillance of a Trump campaign aide.
Together, they have strengthened Putin’s Russia. The world is feeling the consequences.