Roger Cohen On Trump's Russia Challenge

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New York Times columnist Roger Cohen on president-elect Trump and Russia. A stark warning on Putin’s plans for Europe, NATO, and us.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues in the Kremlin in Moscow. (Alexei Druzhinin/ AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues in the Kremlin in Moscow. (Alexei Druzhinin/ AP)

As Washington prepares for the inauguration of Donald Trump tomorrow, another capitol is preparing to celebrate:  Moscow. Trump talks about Russia and its authoritarian leadership like no American president in history. He’s heaped praise on Vladimir Putin. America’s intelligence agencies say Putin is actively working to undermine American democracy. This is an incredible moment. This hour On Point, we go to Moscow, then New York Times columnist Roger Cohen on Trump and Russia. — Tom Ashbrook


Andrew Roth, Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post. (@arothwp)

Roger Cohen, columnist for the New York Times. (@NYTimesCohen)

From Tom's Reading List

New York Times: Trump's Pivotal Russian Test — "No more important challenge awaits Trump than clarifying where he stands on Putin’s threat to the West. Hurtling into some macho love fest with Vlad based on the vague shared aim of smashing ISIS would be calamitous. Trump said that if Putin likes him, “That’s called an asset, not a liability.” Wrong. It’s a liability if Trump is so susceptible to being liked he forgets to be tough."

USA Today: Trump priorities align exactly with Putin's, Russian foreign minister says — "Russia stands for "pragmatism and national interests understood in a sensible way, and not messianic foreign policy and the attempt to spread values across the world," Lavrov said. Trump's plan to prioritize the U.S. economy and his foreign policy focus on fighting terrorism "are exactly what Putin sees as the priorities for Russian foreign policy," he said."

The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Asks if CIA Director was 'Leader of Fake News' About Him —  "Mr. Brennan also urged the president-elect not to underestimate Russia when the new administration seeks its promised diplomatic reset with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, Mr. Trump suggested he would be open to lifting sanctions on Russia. “I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intention and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world,” Mr. Brennan said. “He has to be mindful that he does not yet have a full appreciation or understanding of what the implications are of going down that road."

This program aired on January 19, 2017.


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