Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) is asking why Donald Trump bends at the knee of Russia. “In office, Donald Trump bent the knee in front of Vladimir Putin. Out of office, Trump continues to bend the knee before Putin. Why?”
Lieu, a veteran who sits on the House Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Science, Space, and Technology Committees, wrote his remarks over a screengrab of Trump’s January comments in which he repeated his feelings of trusting Russia over U.S. intelligence:
“Remember in Helsinki when a 3rd rate reporter asked me, essentially, who I trusted more, President Putin of Russia, or our ‘Intelligence’ lowlifes,” Trump wrote.
“My instinct at the time was that we had really bad people… Now add McGonigal & other slime to the list. Who would you choose, Putin or these Misfits?”
This is sadly still relevant, as not only are House Republicans trying to pave an easy path for Russia to interfere in the 2024 elections, but Trump is still standing with Russia in their war of aggression against Ukraine.
Trump called for an end to U.S. support for Ukraine, claiming – as Russian propaganda does – that by supporting Ukraine against Putin’s alarming expansionist hostilities, we are pushing toward World War III.
This is also an interesting appeasement policy frame for the current situation, because it inadvertently compares Putin to Hitler and recalls then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declaring “Peace for our time” after the 1938 Munich Agreement appeasement policy allowed Nazi Germany to take parts of Czechoslovakia, as Britain and France refused to help the Czechs resist.
We saw what happened when those countries gave in to expansionist Hitler for the sake of “peace,” as six months later, Hitler spit on the agreement and ordered his armies to march on into Prague. One year later, the Guardian recalls, Britain and France were at war with Germany.
In reality, if World War III happens, there is no one to blame but Putin and those who champion Putin’s aggression and illegal invasion into Ukraine. Putin does not have good intentions in his invasion, and in fact, he continues to try to destroy western democracy. Anyone repeating Putin’s propaganda about WW III as a reason to NOT support Ukraine is not only dangerously foolish, but also comparatively supporting an expansionist like Hitler for gullible hits of hopium.
Here’s a bit of Trump’s “statement” by the “45th President of the United States”– put in scare quotes because he presents these as if he were a legitimate statesman as president, when in fact he has repeatedly put the U.S. at risk and consistently jeopardized the safety of Americans, while siding with a hostile foreign power.
Note: The following statement contains multiple misleading comments.
“Joe Biden should not be dragging us further toward World War III by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine—he should be trying to END the war and stop the horrific death and destruction being caused by an incompetent administration.
There could be no more vivid proof that Joe Biden’s policy of endless war in Ukraine has tremendously weakened the United States… Joe Biden is needlessly and dangerously leading us into World War III, which would be a nightmare beyond imagination—obliteration!
We must stop this insanity, immediately end the bloodshed in Ukraine, and return to a focus on America’s vital interests…. We must have “PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH” and in a short time, the Presidential election of 2024 will produce that result.”
As usual, Donald Trump is lying and misleading.
Russia has been using its own cluster munitions against Ukraine for over a year. Russia invaded Ukraine, killing its people including pregnant women and children, leaving Ukraine no choice but to defend itself or bow down to Putin and give up its independence and liberty to a vicious authoritarian.
Putin’s Russia is not exactly a bastion of freedom; it is a tightly controlled, propaganda-only environment in which the people don’t even know what’s actually going on. This is the environment Trump is pushing to install in the U.S., as he oversaw democratic backsliding as president and continues to push to align with it.
President Biden does not have a “policy of endless war in Ukraine.” It is Putin’s policy of endless war. Putin and his enablers, like Donald Trump. Biden and our western allies are helping Ukraine because they understand that Ukraine represents western democracy’s fate.
Giving in to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine would seriously wound already flailing global democracy, which is exactly the result Putin seeks.
In January of 2023, Russian propaganda expert Julia Davis wrote about Russians being prepped via propaganda for the rapid decline in standards of living, “The Soviet grooming that is being implemented by many Russian propagandists is meant to condition the people to the rapid decline in the standards of living to which many of them have become accustomed. The expectations are so dire, Mardan posed a startling question to his economic expert, Denis Raksha: ‘What are our chances? Do we even have them or not? Will we have to live like South Korea in the 1950s-1960s? Will we end up having to eat fire ants?’”
An authoritarian needs the people to believe he/she is keeping them safe. A relatively decent standard of living is also important, because starving people have less to lose by revolting. If a decent standard of living can’t be had, the people must be brainwashed to blame an opponent for this state and also, if need be, themselves. They will be shown other people prospering under the aggressive and dangerous dictatorship of Putin.
After the Wagner group’s revolt, Putin warned the west not to try to take advantage of their weakness, which I noted at the time was an absurd demand given that Putin and his henchmen have been exploiting the weaknesses of the west for years in order to undermine western democracy.
The web of lies being sold by far too many on the Right and alleged far Left is perilous gaslighting meant to obscure an alignment with Putin over democracy.
No one is happy about being pulled into a conflict with global ramifications, but history has taught us that this won’t be solved by simply giving in to might over right.
It’s certainly worth noting as Trump, a twice impeached and many times indicted front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, continues to bend at the knee to Russia that what he is really saying is ‘give in to Putin.’
Now, why would a presidential contender be pushing his ill-informed, cultish base to give in to Putin and stop supporting Ukraine in the lead-up to the 2024 election?
Trump’s policy is actually a policy of weakness. His position is we should let Putin do whatever he wants. Donald Trump is, as the Right likes to say, a “cuck” to Putin, who helped Trump win in 2016. So it is very self-serving that Trump’s policy is Russia First instead of America First.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Author: Sarah Jones