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National Security Adviser O’Brien Concedes Trump Wants Good Relations with Russia

Aug. 3, 2020 (EIRNS)—U.S. National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien wrote in an Aug. 2 op-ed in the Washington Post that, like Ronald Reagan, President Donald Trump wants friendly relations with all nations, including Russia. “But no nation, including Russia, should doubt the President’s commitment to defending the United States and our allies,” he writes. “President Trump has demonstrated to Russia that he means what he says about putting ‘America First.’ If recently reported allegations of Russian malign activity toward Americans in Afghanistan prove true, Russia knows from experience that it will pay a price—even if that price never becomes public.” O’Brien does not acknowledge that Trump called that story fake news twice last week.

After going through the litany of alleged crimes of Russia against America, including the alleged interference in the 2016 election, O’Brien declares that the sanctions subsequently imposed on Russian entities in response were made necessary

“given Russian actions that threaten the United States and its allies. This includes interfering in Western democratic elections in 2016 and 2017; propping up brutal regimes in Syria and Venezuela; engaging in cyberattacks on America and its allies; violating important arms treaties; and attempting to kill Sergei Skripal, a British subject, with a military-grade nerve agent.”

On the positive side, O’Brien expresses optimism that a new arms control agreement can be worked out with Russia and China (China is refusing to join negotiations with the U.S. on a new arms-control treaty), and cites anti-terrorism cooperation.

“President Trump and President Vladimir Putin had a cordial call July 23 during which both leaders pledged their best efforts to extend New START and make it even better,” O’Brien says on the first matter. “Both Russia and the United States have had their homelands attacked by violent extremists,” he writes on the second. “U.S. officials will likely engage with their Russian intelligence and law enforcement counterparts on such matters in the coming months.”

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