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FT: Trump's Russia Relationship Leaves Capitol Hill Puzzled

Image: FT: Trump's Russia Relationship Leaves Capitol Hill Puzzled

 (Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 03 Mar 2017 10:48 AM

President Donald Trump's relationship with Russia has many in the capital, both Democrats and Republicans, confused and concerned, Financial Times reports.

Two members of Trump's administration, former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have attracted controversy after reports surfaced that they had undisclosed communications with Russian officials.

But these scandals are only the latest of a series of "puzzling" connections to the former Soviet state, according to FT, which reports that many legislators in Washington, D.C. have been confused by Trump's lack of criticism for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned from his campaign after his past work for pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who was removed from office in 2014. Additionally, the Trump campaign successfully had language calling for the U.S. to provide Ukraine with weapons to fight Russia with removed from the Republican platform at the National Convention last July.

Trump has decried these accusations as "a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win," and blamed the FBI and other members of the intelligence community for leaking information to the media.

According to FT, lawmakers from both parties have seen few policy changes with regards to Russia, and have said that they will fight any attempt from the White House to ease sanctions for the annexation of Ukraine. The Trump administration will likely appoint hawkish Russia expert Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution to the National Security Council, and former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman to serve as ambassador to Russia.

Trump aide and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, the same Russian official Flynn and Sessions had contact with, the New Yorker reports.

"They generally discussed the relationship and it made sense to establish a line of communication," White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The New York Times. "Jared has had meetings with many other foreign countries and representatives — as many as two dozen other foreign countries' leaders and representatives."

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President Donald Trump's relationship with Russia has many in the capital, both Democrats and Republicans, confused and concerned, Financial Times reports. Two members of Trump's administration, former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,...
Trump, Russia
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2017-48-03
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 10:48 AM
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