President Donald Trump has carried on with a foreign policy that is relentlessly subservient to the interests of totalitarianism like that perpetrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. New details are emerging this week thanks to House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry. As part of that probe, they heard on Wednesday from former U.S. Special Envoy Kurt Volker’s former adviser Christopher Anderson, who revealed that after Russia seized Ukrainian military vessels in late 2018, State Department officials prepared a statement condemning the development — but “senior White House officials” blocked it.
Former Russia Ambassador Michael McFaul was among those to sound the alarm. He shared on Twitter:
‘Wow. We still need to understand why Trump remains so intent an appeasing Putin.’
Although Volker — who’d served to cover Ukraine-related matters — did share his own statement of condemnation, the main voice of the Trump administration remained silent. Anderson explained:
‘On November 25, 2018, Russia escalated the conflict further when its forces openly attacked and seized Ukrainian military vessels heading to a Ukrainian port in the Sea of Azov. While my colleagues at the State Department quickly prepared a statement condemning Russia for its escalation, senior officials in the White House blocked it from being issued.’
Besides the above, NPR notes that Anderson also testified that now former national security adviser John Bolton sounded an alarm about Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s meddling with Ukraine policy. Anderson says that Bolton “cautioned that Mr. Giuliani was a key voice with the President on Ukraine which could be an obstacle to increased White House engagement.”
The suggestions for answers to McFaul’s question have ranged from the possibility that the Russian government has compromising material on Trump that they use as leverage against him to Trump’s financial entanglements, which he has ever so conveniently kept hidden via refusing to release his tax returns — although that might soon change. Just recently, a D.C.-area appeals court upheld a House subpoena for the material, adding to the long list of victories for House investigators.
Trump has repeatedly publicly pushed the same aim embedded in keeping a statement condemning Russian military aggression from reaching the public. Just within the last few months, he completely glossed over Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and claimed that Russia had originally been kicked out of the then-G8 group of world leaders because Putin “outsmarted” then-President Barack Obama. That’s just blatantly false — they were kicked out of what became the G7 after their seizure of Crimea.
Infamously, Trump has also repeatedly denied the mountains of evidence implicating Russian government forces in the hacks of and subsequent leaks from key Democratic files. Those Russian agents also perpetrated an online misinformation campaign in favor of the Trump campaign.
The whole impeachment inquiry got going after Trump tried to get a similar campaign going with a months-long effort to get dirt from Ukraine on the Bidens on the basis of baseless corruption allegations. Trump and many of his Republican supporters have adamantly refused to admit that there is anything wrong with what he did.