It’s pretty hard to understate Donald Trump’s reticence to call out Russia for anything they do. When the 2016 election was hacked, Trump waffled on assigning blame, saying “and many others” every time someone brought up the capitalist oligarchy in the East’s involvement. As punishment for election meddling, Obama seized properties in the United States from Russian dignitaries; one of Trump’s first acts as president was to give them back.
He refused to implement sanctions that were passed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan way — that he himself signed into law — and when the time came to finally, publicly, mete out even just a little punishment to Putin’s regime, he levied sanctions only on those Russian oligarchs who were already on a list scheduled for official sanctions.
Trump really doesn’t like to admit when Russia’s done anything wrong.
That’s a problem for him as it pertains to the ongoing special counsel investigation, of course. It’s hard to defend yourself against charges that you conspired with a hostile foreign power when your every action regarding that country is seen as friendly or favorable, even in light of more hostility from them toward our democratic institutions.
But how much of a problem is it for America? It could be pretty bad if it means that Trump ignores glaring threats just because he doesn’t want to say bad things about his pal Putin.
We got a little taste of that on Tuesday morning when Russian State News Agency Sputnik tweeted something very alarming aimed at the United States:
Yes, that’s an image of a nuclear weapon exploding the US Capitol building.
So far, the White House has not responded to the veiled statement from Putin — who approves all materials that pass through the government-controlled news outlet — despite the fact that the “@” symbol used in the tweet automatically notifies them that they have been mentioned on Twitter.
One might think there was some sort of special mechanism for sniffing out messages that contain “nuclear explosion” and “White House” in the same sentence. Then again, maybe Trump had that functionality removed from his administration’s technical department like he had information on breast cancer and LGBT issues removed from the White House website.
This seems like a pretty significant oversight, though. We will update this article if the White House responds.
Featured image via Adam Berry/Getty Images
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