Democratic Senator Chris Murphy appeared on Chris Hayes' show last night to discuss the diplomatic whiplash Trump creates, seemingly every single news cycle. Hayes asked Sen. Murphy about the obvious and frequent disconnect between Trump and his own administration, particularly around Russia. Just yesterday Donny rolled back the sanctions Ambassador Nikki Haley announced at the U.N. one day earlier. He just "wasn't comfortable" executing them, he complained. Why is his comfort so inexorably tied to Putin's comfort?
Senator Murphy described Trump's policy as "schizophrenic," but clearly Russia comes out on top.
There have been aggressive steps taken and moments in which Russia has gotten much of what it wanted. But in the broader sense, let's be clear that Russia is the winner in this relationship over the last year and a half, because let's set aside these specific policies regarding sanctions. By America's withdrawal from the Middle East, Russia has inserted itself in a way that has empowered it in a region they have long been asking for power. The assault on the state department, which is the primary means by which we push back against Russia's asymmetric methods of warfare in and around its periphery has been a gift to Russia. So whether or not we're going to do the next round of sanctions, Russia is getting a gift by America's general withdrawal from the places that it cares about.
When Chris Hayes asked if Trump's policy towards Russia is motivated by his being compromised, Sen. Murphy said he thinks it is certainly a possibility - why else won't Trump take steps both parties want him to take on Russia? Murphy is concerned Putin is getting the message he is free to interfere with our 2018 elections. He's not the only one with that concern.
When Murphy describes Trump's foreign policy as a "slow-motion car crash," he's not kidding. Here's hoping the car is not totaled in the end.