Rep. Darrell Issa remained skeptical Saturday whether any improved diplomacy under a Trump administration would bring better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin or his government.
"This will be the third president who came into office aspirationally hoping we could work with the Russians on some issues," the California Republican, who was first elected in 2002, told Uma Pemmaraju on Fox News.
"Two presidents have come in wanting to do that," he added. "Both have left with a very different view."
President-elect Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal Friday that he would keep the sanctions imposed last month by President Barack Obama in place "for a period of time" and that he would consider lifting them once Putin proved that he could be an ally.
Issa, however, remained wary on Saturday. He is the former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"I do not trust Russia," he told Pemmaraju. "I opposed their even getting into the WTO years ago on a bipartisan basis.
"They were a bad actor when I came in 16 years ago. They have continued to be a bad actor.
"We cannot change their behavior by hoping for the best, particularly when so much is on the line."
Issa noted Russia's activities with Iran, as well as in Turkey and Crimea.
"If you just look at Iran's receiving of tons of uranium, they receive it from Russia," he said. "Without Russia, Iran wouldn't have the program they have.
"We need to be cautious in our dealings with them.
"Having said that," Issa continued, "I look forward to the possibility that sanctions, global pressure and circumventing the monopoly on natural gas in Western Europe could change the dynamics between our country, Russia and Europe for the better."
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