Alexander Vindman Rips Trump For Helping Putin Massacre Ukraine

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Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman recently once again went after former President Donald Trump — under whom Vindman served for a time — over the ex-commander-in-chief’s emboldening of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. At present, Putin’s forces are, of course, engaged in a war in Ukraine that the Russian authoritarian began in February — and Vindman says that incidents including last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters provided Putin and Russian leadership with the impression there was an opening for violent action. Of course, you don’t have to contort yourself to see the truthfulness here: Trump publicly lays it out on a semi-regular basis. Recently, he even asked for Putin to release allegedly damaging information on the Bidens — making clear that right in the middle of a brutal war, Trump is fine with politically allying himself with the leader behind it to the extent necessary to make such a galling request.

Trump’s actions prop up Putin. Vindman said that in Trump’s frenzied attempts to undo the 2020 presidential election outcome and stay in power, he showcased himself to be “incompetent, his own worst enemy, faced with too many checks in a 240-plus-year-old democracy to be able to operate with a free hand.” A federal judge has also concluded that Trump likely — although not certainly — committed felony offenses including obstruction of an official proceeding amid those election subversion attempts. (The proceeding in question would be the joint Congressional session to certify the presidential election outcome.) Vindman added as follows:

‘I came to see these seemingly individual events — the Ukraine scandal, the attempt to steal the 2020 election — as part of a broader tapestry. And the domestic effects of all this are bad enough. But there’s also a geopolitical impact. We missed an opportunity to harden Ukraine against Russian aggression… Ukraine became radioactive for the duration of the Trump administration. There wasn’t serious engagement. Putin had been wanting to reclaim Ukraine for eight years, but he was trying to gauge when was the right time to do it. Starting just months after January 6, Putin began building up forces on [Ukraine’s] border. He saw the discord here. He saw the huge opportunity presented by Donald Trump and his Republican lackeys. I’m not pulling any punches here. I’m not using diplomatic niceties. These folks sent the signal Putin was waiting for.’

And now, with a loudmouthed wing of American politics seemingly fine with refusing to meaningfully confront Putin’s atrocities, Russian forces have turned to murdering Ukrainian civilians. Obviously, Donald Trump is not directly responsible for the Russian invasion — but as Vindman sees it, Russian leadership was paying attention and took advantage of the opening that Trump provided. It’s clear that U.S. trends haven’t gone unnoticed in Russia. Russian government television repeatedly references U.S. figures like Fox host Tucker Carlson — who was the subject of an early March Russian government document that told Putin-aligned media outlets it was “essential” to use him in coverage to a considerable extent.