While the nation seems focused on more domestic issues, President Trump looks to put another foreign policy notch or two in his belt. He’s hoping for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hammer out a deal on the New START nuclear arms control agreement before the election in November. The president got a good start with the Israel-UAE deal, and if this works out as well, it certainly will make a nice feather in his cap. But will it be enough to secure re-election after a year of pandemic panic and civil unrest?
It’s in the Works
White House officials are negotiating different times and locations for a meeting between the two leaders. It is possible that they may come together during the United Nations General Assembly, which will take place next month in New York. Sources told NBC News that if the two leaders were to meet, they might be able to agree to extend New START, which is supposed to expire next year. “He wants it to show his deal-maker abilities,” one of the sources explained. “It’s just a big stage.”
Meetings between lower-level U.S. and Russian officials have already taken place. U.S. special envoy for arms control Marshall Billingslea met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov August 17. During the conference, the United States informed the Kremlin of its terms for extending the agreement. Billingslea indicated that the onus would be on Russia to agree to these terms. “Russia understands our position. And what remains to be seen is if there is the political will in Moscow to get this deal done,” he told reporters in a telephone briefing. “The ball is now in Russia’s court.”
Some of the president’s advisers have cautioned against participating in a meeting with Putin, citing concerns that Russia might attempt to interfere in the 2020 election and the intelligence reports showing that the Kremlin offered bounties to militants who killed American soldiers in Afghanistan. They also warned that it could give his opponents more ammo to claim that Trump is too close to Russia.
Despite the reports, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’ Brien told NBC that Trump had not asked to meet with the Russian president. “We’re not doing a meeting with Putin in the United States, but at some time, you know, look, we’d love to have Putin come here hopefully to sign a terrific arms control deal that protects Americans and protects Russians,” he said.
Would a Successful Meeting Help Trump’s Re-election?
At first glance, it might seem that Trump’s advisers are correct to urge caution when it comes to meeting with Putin. Regardless of the outcome of such a move, the corporate media and the Democrats will undoubtedly attempt to paint this as more evidence of the president’s closeness with Russia. However, it’s important to note that such an attack is unlikely to stick.
The release of the Mueller report drove a stake through the heart of the Russiagate narrative. At this point, the only people who genuinely believe that Trump has a suspect relationship with the Kremlin are those who want to believe it, not average Americans. If the president manages to score a victory, it would be a benefit to his re-election efforts, but not by much.
Currently, the American public does not seem to be focused on foreign policy. Indeed, with the election around the corner, people are concerned about the COVID-19 response and the economic impact of the pandemic.
Moreover, it does not appear that the conversation about race and police brutality is likely to die down anytime soon. If Trump wishes to increase his re-election chances, he may want to work on moving the needle domestically.
Read more from Jeff Charles.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email [email protected] and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” "LN Readers Speak Out" feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
Fighting Authoritarianism in China and Iran - Tens of thousands of brave protesters have taken their discontent to the streets of China and Iran. - Read Now!
Texans Fight to Declare Border Crisis an Invasion - Some 40 counties are backing the invasion move, but do they have legal standing to do so? - Read Now!
Ukraine Today – Photos and Facts - The latest news and pictures from the Ukrainian front. - Read Now!
Georgia Runoff Victory for Raphael Warnock Caps GOP Implosion - An incompetent GOP establishment may be running out of excuses. - Read Now!
Biden Has Better Things to Do Than Visit the Border - Democrats will not talk about anything but all those Biden successes. - Read Now!