Tags: Donald Trump | Russia | donald trump | richard nixon | richard moss | russia

Expert: Trump's Approach to Russia Akin to Nixon's

Image: Expert: Trump's Approach to Russia Akin to Nixon's

In this Oct. 13, 1973 file photo, then-vice presidential nominee Gerald R. Ford, right, listens as President Richard Nixon, accompanied by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Harvey W. Georges, File)

By    |   Friday, 16 Dec 2016 11:22 AM

President-elect Donald Trump may be using a strategy employed by President Richard Nixon to communicate with Russia, according to research professor and author Richard Moss, writing in The Washington Post

The "back channel" approach involves relaxing tensions by informal connections. Nixon did that in 1968 by sending a personal friend to meet with a Soviet ambassador and having foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger contact a KGB intelligence officer, the Post reported.

Moss compared that to Donald Trump, Jr. meeting with pro-Russian Syrian opposition in Paris, and Trump's apparent choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who has engaged in multi-billion-dollar deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The back-channel approach is more intimate and less constrained by bureaucracy, Moss said. For example, Nixon had a successful summit with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972 after talking to each other in back-channel exchanges. At the summit, they signed agreements on bilateral trade, public health, avoiding naval incidents, and teaming up for space exploration.

Trump's transition team denies that it is in informal contact with the Russians, the Post reported. Moss said that keeping those channels open could possibly help prevent or reduce confrontation.

The professor admitted that the approach has its drawbacks: focusing on back channels means communication in secret while avoiding the media. Nixon, Moss noted, is the only president in history to resign from office.

On Friday, The Chicago Tribune's Paul Waldman called for an independent investigation into Trump's connections with Russia. He said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's claim that a Senate intelligence committee can handle the case is "a way of sweeping it under the rug."

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President-elect Donald Trump may be using a strategy employed by President Richard Nixon to communicate with Russia, according to research professor and author Richard Moss, writing in The Washington Post.
donald trump, richard nixon, richard moss, russia
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2016-22-16
Friday, 16 Dec 2016 11:22 AM
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