Obama’s lackluster track record with Russia is in stark contrast to what the Trump administration has already done in its first 18 months.
One really has to be careful with headlines like this as it’s implying that Trump is leading the charge on the items listed and linked to in thehill.com article. That’s not often the case. Not really the case at all in the first five pro-Trump links.
5th paragraph in thehill.com article:
Just last April, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions (cnn.com) on Russia…
The Treasury Department announced this and held the press conference. Trump is only mentioned directly a couple of times, once in a White House press release (not the press conference) and then also:
Trump has continued to press for good relations with Russia, Congress and the rest of the administrations have pursued efforts to punish the Kremlin.
8th paragraph in thehill.com article:
During his first month in office in January 2017, President Trump upheld strict sanctions (cbsnews.com) to punish Russia for its unlawful 2014 annexation of Crimea
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was speaking to the UN Security Council here. Trump is mentioned little in the cbsnews.com article. The only Trump/Jan 2017 quote I saw:
In January before his swearing in to the White House, Mr. Trump suggested that he would also be open to lifting the sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine in exchange for a nuclear arms reduction agreement.
10th paragraph in thehill.com article:
In August 2017, Trump signed a bill (cnbc.com) slapping even more sanctions on Russia — this time specifically aimed at the country’s energy and defense industries.
This cnbc.com article doesn’t come across as Trump slapping anybody. From the first few paragraphs, emphasis mine:
President Donald Trump signed the newest Russia sanctions bill into law on Wednesday despite what he called “problems” with the measure.
Trump and his secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had expressed concerns about the sanctions’ possible effects on U.S. relations with Russia. The administration has pushed to improve relations with Moscow…
Sounds like he begrudgingly signed it to me. Definitely not slapping anybody in there.
11th paragraph in thehill.com article:
In fact it was Trump — not Obama — who ordered the closure (nytimes.com) of Russian diplomatic properties…
Again, the nytimes.com article barely mentions Trump specifically, only the State Department. When it does mention Trump it doesn’t say that he ‘ordered’ anything but instead that:
President Trump has kept his distance from the dispute. He expressed gratitude, rather than anger, toward Mr. Putin when was asked about the Russian president’s action to reduce American diplomatic personnel.
So to me the first five links for Trump in thehill.com opinion piece don’t support the Trump is tougher on Russia headline. His administration, maybe. Trump specifically, no.
If anything, I’ve learned this past election and presidency to thoroughly read the articles and then also articles they link to.
It’s all too easy to sway a reader’s point of view, assign credit where credit isn’t due, misrepresent what’s really happening, what’s really being said.