Trump Praises Putin Response To Sanctions

A day after US President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia over allegations of interfering in the recent election, President-Elect Trump praised Vladimir Putin’s response.

While Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had apparently drafted a list of 35 US diplomats to expel, Putin announced that he would not be expelling any diplomats, and even wished Obama well.

Putin went a step further, inviting US diplomats – and their children – to a reception. While I doubt many diplomats will take Putin up on the offer, it’s a clever move on his part.

Putin’s response is clearly a calculated move to be seen as taking the high-ground, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Much of the world is now left with the image of President Obama being angry at Russia, while President Putin projects (in public at least), a magnanimous image.

Whatever the truth may be about the hacking allegations, the United States has a long history of getting involved in other countries elections, which means there is often very little sympathy when an American leader claims the US was a victim this time.

Of course, Russia has interfered big time in elections – Ukraine for example – so it would be no shock if they tried to help Trump, especially considering how much more supportive he is of Putin than Hillary Clinton was.

Donald Trump seems pleased with Putin’s response, and tweeted the following:

Later, Trump tweeted about the media:

Trump walks a fine line with these tweets. While it can be funny to watch the old media flail around, Trump risks turning people against him if he is seen as more supportive of a Russian President than he is of his fellow Americans – even if it’s the media and his political opponents.

Time will tell whether Trump is willing to apply “America First” to Americans he disagrees with.

Spencer Fernando