‘Trumpist isolationists’ and GOP cold warriors are engaged in a fierce ‘tug of war’ over Russia and Ukraine

‘Trumpist isolationists’ and GOP cold warriors are engaged in a fierce ‘tug of war’ over Russia and Ukraine

It isn’t hard to understand why Russian President Vladimir Putin was hoping that former President Donald Trump would be reelected in 2020; President Joe Biden has been much more critical of the Kremlin — especially with fears that Russia will invade Ukraine. CNN’s Gloria Borgers, in an op-ed published on January 28, argues that the GOP now find itself torn between its anti-Russia/Cold War history and Trump’s unapologetically pro-Putin tone.

Trump, discussing tensions between the Biden Administration and Putin over Ukraine, recently commented, “What's happening with Russia and Ukraine would never have happened under the Trump Administration. Not even a possibility!"

Borgers, in response, comments, “That may actually be true. After all, just a couple of years ago, Trump was impeached for trying to use Ukraine to dig up dirt on his potential presidential rival Joe Biden. He tried to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to ‘do us a favor’ and investigate Biden and his son, Hunter — all while holding up almost $400 million in crucial military aid…. So, yeah, given Trump's predilection to hug Russia and blackmail Ukraine — a fledgling democracy — it's probably a good bet that Russian President Vladimir Putin wouldn't be pulling these particular tricks right now. I mean, Trump was his guy.”

Borgers goes on to discuss the “puzzling conundrum” that “Trumpist Republicans” are facing at a time when “Russia has 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border.”

“The party that was once defined by its strong anti-Russian stance is caught between a Trump and a hard place: the more traditional anti-Putin hawks — who, post-Trump, have somehow found their sea legs again — vs. the still-practicing Trumpist isolationists, with some fanaticism thrown in,” Borgers explains. “Lately, it's hard to avoid the Tucker Carlson wing of the GOP, as he publicly wonders: Why take Ukraine's side over Putin's side?.... And how about this? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, has woven a tale that Biden apparently wants war because Ukraine ‘has the dirt on Hunter Biden.’”

But Borgers that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Biden is “moving in the right direction” with his Russia/Ukraine policy.

“No doubt Putin — and American allies — are wondering who will win the tug of war,” Borgers writes. “And the whole world is watching.”

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