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Trump Forces A GOP Retreat On Russia

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Trump Forces A GOP Retreat On Russia


Reprinted with permission from Creators.

“There’s no question but that the president’s naivete with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face. And unfortunately, not having anticipated Russia’s intentions, the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria. … This is not Fantasyland. This is reality where they are a geopolitical adversary.”

—Mitt Romney, March 23, 2014, on Barack Obama

If there has been any defining trait among modern Republicans, it’s their ingrained distrust of Russia. For decades, the GOP made a habit of accusing its opponents of being weak-kneed and gullible about Moscow’s intentions. If Donald Trump had been elected president as a Democrat, they would be painting him as the most craven appeaser since Neville Chamberlain.

But he was elected as a Republican, which has required some reorientation in the GOP. A lot of Republican voters have simply turned their worldview upside down. One recent poll found that only one in four thinks Russia should be treated mainly as a threat — with the rest preferring warmer ties.

GOP officeholders, caught in the middle, are generally wary of Trump’s policy toward Moscow. By a 98-2 vote, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill to tighten the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, which the president opposes. But the measure has stalled in the House. And most of the party’s members of Congress have done their best to downplay or excuse Trump’s strange fondness for Vladimir Putin.

That remained true even after the revelation that Donald Trump, Jr. met last year with someone he believed was a Russian government lawyer offering “sensitive information” on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If this was not collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, it was a conscious attempt at collusion with a hostile government on the part of the candidate’s son. No wonder Donald Jr. lied about it until his emails were exposed.

That the Russian failed to produce what she promised doesn’t make the meeting any less incriminating for Trump. If you give money to someone you believe is a hit man to kill your spouse, you can’t claim innocence when he disappears without doing the job.

But many Republicans who should have been objecting couldn’t bring themselves to speak up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan were practically mute. When asked if the news was cause for concern, Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, “No.”

Only a few longtime Trump critics, notably John McCain and Lindsey Graham, were vocally disgusted by what they had learned. Many of their colleagues are just hoping Trump and those around him are not obviously guilty of major felonies.

The standard for presidents used to be higher. In 1980, Ronald Reagan accused President Jimmy Carter of “cozying up” to the Soviet Union. In 1992, President George Bush attacked Bill Clinton for traveling to Moscow as a student in 1969. Even after communism collapsed and the pro-American Boris Yeltsin was elected president, Sen. Bob Dole ran in 1996, charging that Clinton “cherishes romantic illusions about the soul of a former adversary.”

Romney flayed Obama in 2012 for telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” on policies affecting Russia after the election. “I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses,” Romney vowed.

In the past, the GOP demanded that presidents recognize the threat posed by the Russian government, understand the policies needed to counter it and have the backbone to stand up to any challenge. Trump, by their own criteria, has failed each of these tests.

Obama was vilified as a Russian patsy for actions that don’t remotely approach what we know Trump and his circle have done. Today, all but a few congressional Republicans avert their eyes and swallow their tongues. Most of them, however, must be appalled to see the nation’s security in the hands of someone so willing to overlook Putin’s malicious behavior.

It may not be clear to them that Trump should be impeached. But by now, they have to know he can’t be trusted.

Steve Chapman blogs at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman. Follow him on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth July 15, 2017

    The about-face on Russia is so blatantly obvious—even to a blind person who has to rely on what she/he hears. And the GOP’s blindness to the threat Putin and poses is simply the result of deranged minds confused both by a unbending disrespect for the former President and a stultifying obeisance to an idiotic partisan ideology.
    There is no way this current crop of legislators will be able to shake free of this proscribed view of the world as a result of their rigid partisanship. Unfortunately, if all the current knaves were to be voted out, America has built up such a surfeit of equally demented younger wannabe partisan politicians waiting in the wings that the same paralysis of will to do what is right will remain intact.

    One can easily imagine the howling and the flood of spittle and foam issuing from the mouths of the current legislators were Hillary, or anyone else from “the enemy camp”, occupied the Oval Office. For now, they’re content to fantasize that this will all go away on its own, and that Trump will magically become “Presidential” by then.

    1. You live in an upside down world Charlatan.
      YOU ARE THE THREAT to World peace by provoking Russia in Ukraine and demonizing Putin and especially Assad since he did not want to sign the leonine deal proposed on your behalf by your helot pawn France’s president Ncolas Sarkozy at 14th July 2008 in Paris.
      The deal was to have the Qatar gazoduc go through Syria and Assad dumb Russia. Keep Russia blocked up in the Black and Baltic seas.
      Bachar refused with dignity to be another of your many vassals .
      And you can’t stand that can you?
      So you demonize, menace and attack (usually indirectly) anyone who resists you.
      With more military might than the rest of the world combined YOU are being kept in check by courageous lilliputian human beings who will have none of your corrupt ways.
      You have supported and even created the Golems you use in the middle east against innocent populations mainly children.

      And YOU want to pass as the Good guys and call everybody else Badass by spreading false flags and fake news everywhere.
      Your supposed “fear” of Russia and Putin is just silly make believe fantasy to spend more on arms and war and let the sucker taxpayers pay for it. <
      Some if not most of YOU are not naïve at all…
      We've had enough of your artificial fear mongering.

      YOU want World dominance (divide and conquer) and push the Wars that go with it as you did in the last 70 years everywhere in the world.
      You don't kid anybody outside your borders and hopefully inside too.
      Blood and guts is needed to tell that to unscrupulous bully crushers. Yes.
      You are pernicious satanic dangerous fools.
      Cut that OUT. Change for the best not the worst.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker July 16, 2017

        The only charlatan here is the rapist Trump. The only threat to world peace are powermongering men like you who want your 10 seconds of global attention so you can schmutz up our freedom and democracy.

        Not that we will EVER allow that. But you do go on and on and on and on and on incoherently. I hear Belgium is beautiful this time of year. Get your fat ass out of our country.

        1. I am NOT in your country gentle lady curse.
          I leave it for you to fix it whilst trembling.

          And YOU!
          Get out of the rest of the world that needs you like the plague.

          I love cuisine and exquisite noblewoman companionship.
          Yes Belgium is beautiful, subtle and harmonious in all four seasons. Easy choice.

          1. Eleanore Whitaker July 16, 2017

            Duh…Like we didn’t know you were a Belgian Putin ass kiser? You don’t like women who speak their minds? Tough for you. I have no intentions of allowing any foreign bastards who work for Putin to silence me. Surprise surprise you Belgian chocolate moron, Americans do not need or want your kind of “help.”

            But since you love Putin and Russia so much, how about we get our CIA to report you to your government so they can hang you upside down by your balls?

            I understand Belgium has less tolerance for traitors like you than we do in the US. Let me know the date Belgium plans to hang you. I’d make the trip just to watch.

          2. Mind??? You are not even human to spit such stupid hate.
            Complete psychopath straitjacket mode.

          3. Gerry Francis July 16, 2017

            I’ll bet you’re on the ‘NO FLY” list.

          4. Curse, menace and fear is all you can dish out!
            Poor America.

          5. Gerry Francis July 16, 2017

            That’s right Sergi – and you might do well to remember it.

          6. Feeble brain of a scared bully. Enlist and go to war!
            That is all you dream of. M bombs. Use them.

          7. Thoughtopsy July 16, 2017

            I can’t hear you clearly.
            Try talking without Putin’s d**k in your mouth.

          8. I told you all that I had to say here!
            I leave you to your Putin delirium.
            Keep biting and chewing. Forever.
            To the loo losers…

          9. Eleanore Whitaker July 17, 2017

            Funny coming from an exiled criminal who doesn’t dare go back to your Native country,.

          10. Eleanore Whitaker July 17, 2017

            Hey Belgian Chocolates…Do yourself a favor and stop embarrassing your native country. Of course I hate evil people. Foreign aliens like you love evil in any way you can get it, stir it up and push it down other people’s throats.

            Do tell us though why it is a troll like you can’t go back to your native country? A rape charge you are too chickenshit to face?

            The only nut here is you. Time for you to go back to your country, face that rape charge and the women you thought you had a right to violate.

          11. Complete bonkers.

          12. Eleanore Whitaker July 17, 2017

            Or…Complete truth you can’t admit. Why are you even on a thread you know is not going to get you any credibility? Shouldn’t you seek out a right wing site or one for anarchists like you?

            Get over yourself. You are not remotely as superior as Hercule Poirot.

          13. I am here just to get an idea of how vulgar mean dangerous stupidity can come from people like you!
            Appalling and irreversible! Sad madness…

          14. Eleanore Whitaker July 17, 2017

            You are a lying sack of Lard Ass’s bowel movements. People who visits site for observation only don’t do what you pigshit faces do…Open your big yaps and try to create dissension and chaos.

            You see madness in yourself. Do I need to go to the US Belgian Ambassador and find out more about you? Because as a freelance writer, I am more than capable of getting the dirt on you, you Belgian waffle.

          15. You are chaos all by yourself!
            Dirt is all you know. I am sure your toxicity is high. Happy?

          16. Eleanore Whitaker July 18, 2017

            As the wonderful author, Boris Pasternak once wrote, “In order to “organize defeat,” one must first organize chaos.”

            The only appalling thing that irreversible is your mental illness. Where did you EVER get the idea you’d get the last word with any American when a Belgian waffle like you can’t shut your mouth longer enough to catch your breath?

            Time for you spoiled little twerps to grow up and tell your Mommies to wean you from the nursing bras.

            By your own admission, you are a foreign agent whose only reason for posting to a knowingly liberal and progressive site it to hope you can take over. Ta ta mis ami.

          17. All I see on this “liberal & progressive” site are right wing agressive death threat menacing fascists! Over and OUT!

          18. Eleanore Whitaker July 19, 2017

            If that’s all you see, DUH….get the hell off this thread. We don’t need your interference and attempts to turn our country into your Belgian Waffle BS.

            Do all of us a favor and leave us to critical thinking on how to return our country to national pride. Not the scum you scumbaggers have turned it into.

            A foreigner like you would bitch to the moon if we tried to infect your country with our politics. But, you know? Some of us are getting pretty IT savvy about how you hackers get onto these sites and try to rain chaos in our society. Think again buster.

            Our Revolutionaries go back to George Washington. What would make a moron like you think we will sit back on our tax dollars and let jerks like you take over? Be careful pallie…we have lots of ethical hackers out there ready to rip into your country’s social media with truth Putsy isn’t going to like.

          19. I am NOT in your country gentle lady curse.
            Never went since 2001. Never will again. Relax.
            Read about “Lost Women”. Incredulous!

          20. Eleanore Whitaker July 20, 2017

            You are not only not in the US, you are not even posting from Planet Earth.

            So, if you are not in the US, what exactly is your purpose for mouthing off? Because someone (namely Putin) pays you to do it?

            Now, I realize you are a foreign alien. However, in my career, I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with people for most every country of the world, including Belgians who were one of our most frequent clients at Akzo Chemie.

            I’ve always made allowances for foreign aliens who have a slightly different opinion on the US and our issues. Yours, however, are blatantly perverse and deliberately narrow minded. That’s quite strange when you consider how liberal Belgians are as a people.

            Do us all a favor and admit you are a paid Russian troll who hopes Trump will become the first US dictator. Too bad for you that will never happen. He’d be hauled out onto Pennsylvania Avenue and torn to shreds first.

          21. Frankly my dear, what you think, I don’t give a damn.
            Carry on fantasizing if it does you good. I’m out.

          22. Eleanore Whitaker July 20, 2017

            And yet, a Belgian waffle thinks he’ll get the last word. You only prove your limited intelligence when you can’t recognize your opposition has won. If you are going, get on with it.

          23. Grandeur comes with valor, not brute might.
            Your futile nationalism lowers you every time you eruct it.
            Great again!? Sure, of course! Bye.

          24. Eleanore Whitaker July 20, 2017

            Not in the US Belgian Waffle. And what are you doing posting again? I thought you were out of here?

            In the US, it is a proven fact that money does not greatness make. That was proven by Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson Clinton and Barack Obama, all men who came from humble beginnings are now among the greatest, most admired and respected presidents.

            Good bye? BS. You can’t stop yourself from posting. You are as addicted to trying to get the last word as you are to trying to prove you are intelligent. Shouldn’t that be Au revoir or Tot dag?

          25. Scared?
            Robert Crumb, Jack Benny and Joe di Maggio are my American heroes. Bye…

          26. Eleanore Whitaker July 20, 2017

            Sorry to disappoint. But, I am scared only of snakes and rats. Both of which fit your description. A reptilian nature like yours is accompanied only by your vermin behavior.

            My American heroes are those 5 muscle bound brothers I grew up with who taught me all I ever needed to know about defending myself from jerks like you. That coupled with a few choice words from my educators and you go down for the count.

          27. So you admit being scared of me! No confusion possible.

            Intelligence is difficult to behold indeed. Condolences on yours!

            Glad I could be of help in your waking up.

            For Europeans all Americans are basically Trumps or worse!
            Cheers dear! Fix it great. We’ll be watching! It is not our fault!

          28. Eleanore Whitaker July 21, 2017

            Puhlease…Don’t flatter yourself. Your testosterone level is at zero. As for fearing any man, thanks to being always outnumbered by men in my family, work and church, I know every tiny weakness you male dickheads have.

            This has to be your longest au revoir yet…If you are leaving, get to it and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

          29. Gerry Francis July 16, 2017

            You probably just need some ‘hair of the dog’ to get back to being rational.

          30. stcroixcarp July 16, 2017

            Alain, you a bot? I love bots.

      2. Gerry Francis July 16, 2017

        Get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, did ya?

        1. Stupid troll remark.

      3. Thoughtopsy July 16, 2017

        Go away paid Putin Troll.
        You’re very tiresome. And bad at your job.

    2. 1standlastword July 16, 2017

      Once the GOP realizes the error of their ways it will be too late. At that time the one and only correction factor humans have used to great effect will be activated again and that is the sanitizing effect of war to make one side just and the other unjust. Then the aftermath of serious reflection, pledges of sorrow, regret, “never agains” until the memory fades and new “shiny stuff” causes the next as you say:” Zombie trance” leading to the next disaster set off by another bunch of white collar criminals posing as public servants. The benefits are one sided as always…right!!!

  2. Harviele July 15, 2017

    President Trump has a cult following among the republican base. This cult following is large enough to adversely affect any republican in congress who wishes to be reelected. If they speak out against Trump, they will not stand a chance of being reelected. This gives him unprecedented power over them. At what point will they value their country over their own political aspirations? Graham and McCain are obviously not expecting to be reelected once their terms are up so they can speak out against him. Trump would have to do something so bad that his cult base would turn on him. This is unlikely to happen because they have shown their willingness to forgive him for things which would have ended any other candidate’s campaign.

  3. Buford2k11 July 16, 2017

    we should get away from the word “collusion”, and start using the word “conspiracy”, that seems to be what the trumps are doing…Conspiracy to commit crimes against the USofA. Conspiracy to aid a hostile nation…etc. this is what I have been hearing and reading…Collusion is not quite the term used in criminal codes…the concept is political in nature, and seems to carry little weight in the judicial world…that is why the trumps are saying no big deal…they miss the fact that they are facing conspiracy charges…I bet Mueller is going crazy trying to keep track of all the self incriminating things the trumps keep putting out there…If you look at it, their behavior is fairly consistent and can be used as a way to see into their criminal minds…

  4. stcroixcarp July 16, 2017

    Is there an honest republican left in this country. Every one of them seems to be a mean spirited power hungry liar.

    1. Thoughtopsy July 16, 2017

      Their party sucked up to the racist fringe to win… which got fringe politicians elected… and now they have eaten the party.

      Reagan wouldn’t have been allowed in today’s Republican party.
      It’s empty of anything other than greed and racism.
      That’s why Trump is the standard bearer.
      He is the symptom… not the disease.

      1. stcroixcarp July 16, 2017

        I disagree. trump is more like the rats that carried that carried the fleas that carried plague.

        1. Thoughtopsy July 18, 2017

          Although I love the imagery, I don’t really agree that Trump brought/caused anything. I think the potential was already there.
          There’s a rather good theory on the rise of nationalism and populism in eastern Europe that talks about the underlying conditions needing to be there first.

          It said that the underlying condition for the rise of Authoritarian/White Nationalism/Populism is public fear.

          The fear is initially created through hardship and/or inequality and/or injustice. Deep pervasive fear makes normally easy going people less compassionate, angrier, more tribal, and more likely to dislike and distrust the “Other”… Because they’re afraid for themselves, their survival, and their children.

          Once the fear exists in the population, it can be captured and channeled as a form of political force.

          In Hitler’s case (Sorry about Godwin’s law) Germany was in terrible economic trouble paying reparations after WW1. Just surviving was difficult. Fear was pervasive. Hitler promised to fix it all, save the country, if everyone just believed in him.

          In the USA, the dissatisfaction and eventual fear over economic security (and a certain degree of suppressed racism that has never been dealt with) was captured and channeled by Faux News and other similar outlets, and multiplied by a constant drumbeat of paranoia about minorities and “the gays”, danger, and Democrats “wrecking America”.

          It continued to get worse as inequality rose massively over the last 20 years, and continued to be coaxed along and multiplied by the stupid Right Wing media… to the point where Republicans began to openly lean on this fear and anger and hate to win elections.
          “Washington is broken” etc etc.

          The satisfaction with Congress dropped, Obama got elected and they were all told it’s the end of America, the Tea Party arrived as the initial harbinger of this fear and hate, more crazy partisans were elected to GOP ranks, collegiality and bi-partisanship declined rapidly, the core Republican base became a tribe of anti-elite, anti-science, anti-compromise extremists, inequality got worse, fear got deeper and wider…

          And then the Orange Julius Billionaire championed Birtherism and loudly told anyone who would listen that the President was illegitimate…. which won him the hearts and minds of worst core group who absolutely agreed with that sentiment. He then (self confessedly) molded his political talking points around listening to angry talk radio and just repeating whatever they said.

          Through identifying with the same concerns, fears, anger and hate that they themselves held, he then became the political popularist embodiment of all of those scared, angry people who want their country back…
          Basically he’s the only thing keeping their fear at bay, hes the authoritarian father figure who tells them who to blame for the fear, that it will all be ok, and that only he can fix it… and they will follow him straight into hell if he tells them there are cookies there.

          Or to put it another way:
          If America had been stopped from becoming a plutocracy AND the fringe Right Wing media had been required to hold to a standard of truth in regards their fear mongering and propaganda… Trump would not have gained any traction.

          Happy/Content people don’t vote for a Angry Daddy Figure who promises inane conman simplistic solutions…. Scared-out-of-their-minds-and-trying-to-suppress-it People do.

          That’s why I sort of see Trump as one of the symptoms of a deeper sickness… rather than the agent or cause of it.

      2. Independent1 July 16, 2017

        Although Reagan may not be allowed in the Republican party today, he was every bit as evil and devious as Trump, just in a different way. His lies, falsehoods and fantasies were more subtle but they did more outright damage to the American way of life than any previous or future president so far aside from possibly Trump (that’s still to be seen).

        1. Thoughtopsy July 18, 2017

          Good point.

  5. Eleanore Whitaker July 16, 2017

    And here it comes…the Boys will be Boys excuses …Trump’s naivete, Trump’s faulty judgment. I guess anything that gets the RNC and Prince Rinse out of hot water is a great excuse right?

    Funny but wasn’t it Trump himself who has told everyone who bothered to listen that Putin thinks “I’m a genius,” and how he and he alone was going to save the entire country. Note he never mentioned “which” country he plans to save?

    The reality is that Trump admires Putin’s skill and acumen in Putin’s exceptional use of lies, double talk and smear campaigns. How naive is Putin as former KGB? How naive would Putin’s protege, Trump be under the tutelage of the KGB?

    Please…If Trump has exercised faulty judgment, it sure hasn’t deterred him from helping himself and that Grifter family of his to the entire US Treasury has it?

    When you see a thief inside a bank vault helping himself, don’t bother to alert anyone. It’s just Trump doing what a world class grifter always does…help himself to money that belongs to everyone else.

  6. Dr. Samuel Taddesse July 16, 2017

    President Trump is guilty as hell regarding collusion with Russia to derail Secretary Clinton’s candidacy. He and his campaign team have been caught red handed. We have seen our Republican leaders are ass leakers and do not much care about America or Americans. They prefer identifying themselves with the reach and the wealthy. Simply said, “They are Corrupt.”

    1. Independent1 July 16, 2017

      You sure got the caught red handed right – even Time agrees.


      And it’s not just GOP politicians who are corrupt, it appears to be the majority of Republicans too as 82% of Republicans still approve of Trumps outright corrupt actions.

    2. dpaano July 17, 2017

      Instead of the mantra, “Lock her up,” we should be ranting “PUT THEM IN JAIL!!!”

  7. Richard Prescott July 16, 2017

    The GOP used Trump and his tactics as much as Trump used them. Both are in collusion with regards these issues. The GOP got their majorities by 10 years of information war on the Democrats using Brietbart News, Drudge, InfoWars, and Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are in administrative positions in the White House. This information war was aided by the Russians as it has been found out.
    Yes, if Trump were a Democrat they would have tied him up by now and thrown him out.
    In my eyes the GOP are just as guilty as Trump and his people are.

  8. Thoughtopsy July 16, 2017



    They are bending over for Putin…. and they are not even embarrassed to have their pants round their ankles.

    Wow GOP…. For all your “core values” and “moral integrity” and “patriotism”… you sell out to the enemy faster than a broke hooker.

  9. Lynda Groom July 16, 2017

    It isn’t OZ hiding behind the curtain of Trump….its clearly Putin. What he has on Trump is anyone’s guess, but I suspect there might be gobs of money involved. Big Bob’s investigation may get to a portion of the truth, but much will remain a mystery of the times. The lack of courage by the GOP is truly astounding, but certainly not a surprise considering the very hard insane right the party has made in recent years.

  10. InGen12 July 17, 2017

    The moral decay of the Republican party has brought us to this point. Everyone one of them needs to be thrown out of office so this country can recover and rebuild.

  11. ivory69690@yahoo.com July 17, 2017

    there’s no THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW he wants and is making every one he can back off his B/F RUSSIA’S PUTTHEAD and cant stop trying to get the whole hacking and them giving the DUMPSTER the white house . as the DUMPSTER would say it SAD !! and the latest joke to his show today he has his brain washed clown VP of making speech’s about made in America truly just as much an idiot as his boss . making this BULLSHIfT speech then the DUMPSTER comes on behind the littler clown to take his BIGGEST CLOWN OF ALL TIME behind him talking his PATHOLOGICAL LIAR bull about made in America just the other day the news was showing of all his daughters (the one he wants to bang also interview on tape ) that all the things she is having made under her name all the businesses not one NOT EVEN 1 OF THEM IS MAKING ANYTHING IN THE USA NOT ONE every thing her company and businesses are making for her and her name is being made in another country . JFK CIA time for you to come in and save the USA before the DUMPSTER full of BULLSHIfT makes it too late


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