by Byron York
January 04, 2021
Democrats and their allies in the press spent the last four years accusing President Donald Trump of being soft on Russia. And worse: Some called the president a Russian asset, a traitor, Putin’s patsy and much, much more. It was all nonsense, because behind the rhetoric was the stark reality that Trump, and his administration, have actually been tougher on Russia than many of his predecessors. Now, with the president on the way out, one lone voice in the anti-Trump press — CNN, specifically — has spoken the truth out loud.
On CNN’s “New Day” on New Year’s morning, the network’s Fareed Zakaria was asked how U.S. Russia policy under President Joe Biden might differ from policy under President Trump. “I think, in general, there isn’t going to be as much difference as people imagine,” Zakaria said. “The Biden folks are pretty tough on Russia, Iran, North Korea. You know, the dirty little secret about the Trump administration was that while Donald Trump clearly had a kind of soft spot for Putin, the Trump administration was pretty tough on the Russians. They armed Ukraine. They armed the Poles. They extended NATO operations and exercises in ways that even the Obama administration had not done. They maintained the sanctions. So I don’t think it will be that different.”
The dirty little secret??? It was never a secret at all. All of the actions Zakaria listed were well-known public policy during the Trump years. Any of Zakaria’s colleagues, at CNN and in the press as a whole, might have cited them. But many instead chose to contribute to the media’s Russia hysteria that began even before the president was inaugurated and continued through the years of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
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