Tags: Trump Administration | chris coons | trump | putin | russia

Sen. Coons: Trump 'Playing Checkers' Against Russia's Game of Chess

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Friday, 21 Jul 2017 12:12 PM

President Donald Trump is "playing checkers" with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, while Putin is using all the tools Russia has to "play chess" with the United States, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said Friday.

"I think it's important for us to remember that Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov are very experienced players on the world stage," the Democratic senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"This is the fourth American president with whom they've had the opportunity to work."

Putin, said Coons, is a "skilled former KGB agent," while Trump is "not on the same board" with him.

Coons pointed to a column in The Washington Post that claims Trump has already surrendered to Russia when it comes to Syria.

"It points out some of the consequences of unilaterally walking away from the Syrian opposition," Coons said. "It's been trained and equipped by the CIA over recent years."

The column also questions the idea that the United States would make concessions to Russia without getting anything in return, said Coons, and how the resulting weakness will affect the U.S. role in the Middle East, in Western Europe and throughout the world.

"We've got significant challenges around the world," said Coons. "We're not talking about North Korea. We're not talking about finding ways to move China toward reining in the nuclear program.

"We're talking about how we're on the retreat in the face of Russian assertion or aggressiveness, whether it's on the eastern edge of NATO or in the Middle East in Syria."

Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also discussed an invitation made to Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to testify next week about their meeting with a Russian attorney and several other Russians at Trump Tower last June.

He said he is sure they'll come for the hearing, set on Wednesday.

He noted that both committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have said they'll subpoena Trump Jr. and Manafort if they don't come in willingly.

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President Donald Trump is "playing checkers" with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, while Putin is using all the tools Russia has to "play chess" with the United States, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said Friday.
chris coons, trump, putin, russia
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2017-12-21
Friday, 21 Jul 2017 12:12 PM
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