Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering, who served in said role under Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, has just spoken out about the ongoing controversy over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Pickering’s assessment is simple, and sobering — don’t trust Vladimir Putin.
He said, while appearing on CNBC this past Friday:
‘I was in Russia a month ago… there continued to be this sort of steady drumbeat of anti-Americanism. I think it’s in part, obviously, to reinforce the notion that President Putin… [is] leading a serious effort on his part to move back into a center of importance in international affairs… He’s using the anti-American line to try to bolster his position at home.
He added, “I don’t trust [Putin] but I think we have to deal with the people who are on the other side.”
It’s not as though the world needed Pickering’s assessment to come to such a conclusion, with mountains of evidence already longstanding against Putin’s credibility as a legitimate player in global affairs.
Still, Pickering’s comments are indeed sobering when considering the fact that, although the former ambassador refused to directly make any sort of predictions about what President Trump’s foreign policy will be towards Russia, Trump has long signaled that his policy towards Russia as president will be entirely conciliatory. Trump will seemingly head into office in just a few weeks ready to bend the U.S. according to the Russians’ will.
For instance, he still refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of the Russians’ cyberattacks on the Democratic Party throughout the months before Election Day. These attacks, revealing tens of thousands of emails worth of private information to the public, seriously undercut Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, while bolstering Trump’s.
And when faced with questions over all of this by reporters, Trump has pretty much stuck to simply dismissing the entire controversy, since, according to him, the nation needs to “move on to bigger and better things.”
Pickering, when asked about the acute issue of Russia’s cyberattacks on the U.S. Democratic Party and the harsh set of sanctions that Obama dished out in response, commented:
‘[Obama] did what he had to do in order to send the signal and hopefully deter more… cyberattacks or cybermisuse to influence U.S. elections and perhaps other elements of U.S. internal politics. I would expect that the president-elect one way or another ought to be concerned about that. He says he wants to put it behind him, but, at the same time, it’s still there.’
(h/t) Bipartisian Report
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