Donald Trump’s (apparent) love affair with Russia has brought him under quite a lot of scrutiny.
However, before he descended the escalators that fateful day at Trump Tower and announced his bid for presidency, the billionaire business mogul was vehemently agreeing with his former nemesis Mitt Romney on how Moscow had become the “biggest problem” for the United States.
In a 2014 interview with “Fox and Friends,” the former reality TV star not only singled out the Kremlin as the greatest geopolitical foe, he also suggested sanctions to hurt Russia economically for its annexation of Crimea.
“Well, Mitt was right, and he was also right when he mentioned in one of the debates about Russia, and he said, ‘Russia's our biggest problem, and Russia is, you know, really something,’” Trump said at the time.
He also added that “everybody laughed” at Romney “including certain media” but “it turned out that he’s absolutely right.”
“You look at what Russia's doing with Iran, how they controlled the situation, and Syria, and virtually every other place that ... We were thrown out of every place. I'm not saying we should be there. We should rebuild our own schools and our own bridges and highways and everything else,” Trump continued. “To be scoffed at and thrown around the way we're being thrown around is absolutely unthinkable.”
The real estate baron also warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “rebuilding the Russian empire.”
Considering 2014 was not that long ago, it is quite baffling to see how Trump’s stance towards Russia took a complete 180-degree turn.
Just recently, he told The Times of London that he was considering ending sanctions imposed on Russia in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.
“They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” the president-elect reportedly said. “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. But Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are gonna benefit.”
In the aftermath of Trump’s unexpected win, the CIA claimed Russia intentionally meddled in the 2016 election to help put the billionaire in office. Later, officials concluded that Putin himself supervised the hacking, turning it from a general attempt to discredit democracy to an effort to help Trump.
Last week, CNN claimed the intelligence officials briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on claims that Kremlin allegedly has compromising information about Trump. Though, the network did not divulge the contents of the report presented to the incoming commander-in-chief, BuzzFeed went ahead and published the entire dossier the analysis was based on.
The memos, which remain unverified, alleged that Russia had been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Trump for five years and feeding him information about high-profile politicians in an attempt to split the “western alliance.”
It also claimed Russian officials arranged and monitored the 70-year-old engaging in “perverted sexual acts.”
Although Trump has denied all the allegations and dubbed them “fake news,” his abrupt change of tune certainly leaves a lot to imagination.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters