Republicans accuse Biden of aggression against Russia. Don’t forget Trump.

Photo illustration by Kelly Carminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

As Russian President Vladimir Putin lays the groundwork for an invasion of Ukraine, Republicans in Congress have been laying the groundwork, accusing President Joe Biden of failing to prevent the attack.

But former President Donald Trump, a recently retired military official and diplomat, told The Daily Beast that he may bear more responsibility than Biden for the looming crisis with Russia.

Trump’s relationship with Russia has been famous complexdelaying aid to Ukraine 2017. Trump reportedly refuses security aid partly because he wants Ukraine Repay America. that year, Putin At a meeting in 2017, he raised Russia’s claim to Ukraine to Trump.

Trump also imitated and participated in Putin’s rhetoric about territorial expansion.trump card tell world leaders At a private dinner in 2018, Crimea — the Black Sea peninsula between Russia and Ukraine, which Russia annexed by force in 2014 — actually did belong to Russia, because everyone there speaks Russian.

Biden predicts Russia will ‘intervene’ in Ukraine

In a more hard-power sense, Trump also stopped military aid to Ukraine in 2019, turning aid into political “Yes.” Trump administration withholding funds appropriated by Congress for security aid to Ukraine, in violation of the law, Government Accountability Office Determined later.

In the infamous July 2019 telephone Between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump, Zelensky still demanded the Javelin anti-tank weapon. While Trump has delayed security aid, Ukraine has become more vulnerable. Ukraine has been deprived of arms, artillery, training and advisors, leaving them weak and trapped. Ukrainian soldiers eventually started stuffing straws into their empty uniforms and carrying logs with them to make it look like they had anti-tank missiles on their shoulders, New York Times 2019 report.

Even if Trump eventually relented and did provide aid, he made it conditional that the equipment would not be used in war.

According to General Ben Hodges, delays in delivering top-tier military equipment to Ukraine — and Trump’s general dismissal of Ukraine’s security realities on the ground — have had lasting consequences, reinforcing the Kremlin’s take on Ukraine today. Determination for further action, former commander of the European and American troops.

“He definitely doesn’t appreciate and understand the importance of what’s going on,” Hodges said of Trump. “And I think the most valuable thing for the Kremlin is that they see that the U.S. government doesn’t understand, doesn’t understand, and even frankly doesn’t even care that much about what’s going on in that administration.”

Hodges told the Daily Beast that Trump’s disregard emboldened Putin and caused damage that is now fueling tensions.

While any bloody or catastrophic political backlash in Ukraine in the coming weeks will undoubtedly fall on Biden –deny his approval Rating further is like withdrawing from botched Afghanistan Indeed — it is the lingering corruption of the Trump administration that has created many of the conditions ripe for an attack.

Pro-Russian operative accused of wreaking havoc in Ukraine as NATO talks stall

“When it comes to Putin, there’s no comparison to President Trump and President Biden — one raving about him, one calling him: the killer,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who leads Went on a senator’s trip to Ukraine in recent days, told The Daily Beast.

Hodges agrees that Biden has taken a rather different — and rather good — approach to Putin and Zelensky.

“Anyone who says the Trump administration is better than the current administration on Ukraine or on Russia is absurd,” said Hodges, who also previously headed NATO’s Allied Land Command.

Of course, Republicans see the situation very differently. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has already taken responsibility for the attack on Biden’s feet that has not yet occurred.

“This is the result of a year of Joe Biden’s incompetence and incompetence with Russia, especially foreign policy,” Cotton said at a news conference this week, noting that he thinks Biden has made decisions like He was accused of “looking at the Colonial Pipeline hack in a different way.”

Even those casual rhetoric smacks of major revisionism.Russian hacker attack Colonial Pipelines with Ransomware In the wake of last year’s attacks, Biden responded by citing Russian actors, warning that the U.S. could respond to Russia with its own cyberattacks — a clear departure from Trump, who has often turned a blind eye to Russian cyber and information operations. Biden also told Putin himself not to do it.

Crisis in Kazakhstan temporarily halts Putin’s attack on Ukraine

But Republicans see the unfolding crises with Russia and Ukraine as proof that Biden has been weak.

“Many of my Democratic colleagues were quick to criticize President Trump, claiming that he initially did not do enough to resist Russian aggression harder,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. said Wednesday. “Then now they realize how much he did.”

But Steve Pifer, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said it was just political nonsense.

“If you get Republicans to say, ‘The Trump administration is tougher,’ it’s just political bullshit,” Pifer told The Daily Beast. “There is a complete disconnect between the administration and Trump. I’m not sure how Trump talks about Russia, I’m not sure he fully understands his policies.”

Still, Republicans have either forgotten or are reimagining Trump’s role in the current impasse. Some oddly blame them for the imminent invasion of the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda. Sen. Jonny Ernst (R-IA) said left-wing “election takeover hysteria” “overshadowed what’s going on right now” between Russia and Ukraine.

But there are also lawmakers trying to avoid the blame game in order to show commitment to Russia’s unity. A bipartisan group of senators who traveled to Ukraine last week deliberately tried to avoid letting the situation in Russia devolve into familiar partisan lines.

Russia-Ukraine Cold War Is About to Heat Up

“That’s what this trip is about, to get the Republicans and Democrats out there, to show Ukraine — and more importantly, Russia — even though you see in Washington that Republicans and Democrats are divided on other issues, But we’ll be together,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who just returned from a trip, said on CNN Tuesday.

“We all agree that there is a need for a way forward, and if he does, there will be serious consequences for Putin,” Shaheen also told The Daily Beast, stressing that there is bipartisan agreement on this.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who also traveled to Ukraine, stressed at a GOP news conference Wednesday that lawmakers and a Biden administration are indeed united.

That information may be more important than many Republicans think.

Bret Schafer — who heads the information manipulation team of the Alliance for Security and Democracy, which tracks Russia’s information operations — said Russian state media actually did notice this kind of partisan infighting in the United States.

“You do see this direct amplification when a senator basically says that Biden’s policies on Russia are counterproductive — that’s taken,” Schaeffer told The Daily Beast. “Even if sometimes the statement is: ‘He’s too soft on Russia,’ it’s taken.”

“What they’re looking for,” Schafer continued, “is a fragmented response. The division of labor is key.”

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