Most of it related to the resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser to the President just 24 days after Donald Trump was inaugurated. I won’t bore my readers with a rehash of all the news coverage online and in the media about this story, although I will point to this piece by John R. Schindler at The Observer as well as a late-breaking New York Times piece tonight. The NYT story details contacts between Russian intelligence officers and Trump campaign staff ahead of the 2016 election.
I will touch on Schindler’s piece briefly before I move on to my focus. Schindler, a former National Security Agency analyst, discusses the “war” between Trump and the nation’s spy agencies. The scariest part? That the agencies are withholding intelligence from the White House because they don’t trust the administration. One official even told Schindler that they assume the Kremlin has had ears inside the White House Situation Room since President Trump took office.
Schindler’s report is so concerning, along with all the other news about Russian ties to the Trump administration, because of other items in the news that don’t get the wall-to-wall coverage on cable news.
Just last week, Russian military aircraft buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea. The flyovers were described as “low altitude” and “high speed.” Russia denied the reports. There were several encounters between Russian military aircraft and U.S. ships in aircraft in 2016.
It also came to light today that the Russians have apparently placed themselves in further violation of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty by secretly deploying a new missile system that they had been testing since 2014.
There are also reports today of a Russian surveillance ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware. This ship made a port call in Cuba before proceeding up the East Coast in international waters.
Additionally, The Moscow Times reported on a story in pro-Kremlin paper Komsomolskaya Pravda. The report included an interview with a Taliban warlord who wanted to build ties with Russia to get the United States out of Afghanistan.
Throw in all the latest intrigue with Russian spies and apparent poisonings, as well as the Flynn issues, and it’s very important that the United States keeps its eye on the ball with the Russians. They are an adversary and we shouldn’t cozy up to them or let them take advantage of us.
I’m really not sure what to make of reports the Kremlin is worried about the unintended consequences of their Trump fandom, but I suspect there’s something else behind those reports getting out.
Buckle up, the bumpy ride will apparently continue.