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15 May, 2017 13:59

‘US policy today: Aircraft, where co-pilots try to override pilots’

‘US policy today: Aircraft, where co-pilots try to override pilots’

There is a huge fight going on in American policymaking at the moment, explains political commentator Martin Summers. Building his empire, Donald Trump liked to have competing points of view on every issue, adds writer Charles Ortel.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he has no doubt Russia interfered in last year's US presidential election, despite the lack of any apparent evidence.

“I have seen the intelligence reports, and yes, I don't think there's any question that the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes,” Tillerson said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Washington DC last week clearly pointed out that it is “nonsense” and there is no any evidence for the accusations.

RT:  What do you make of Tillerson now saying that there is no doubt that Russia interfered in the US elections, in contradiction to what Trump says?

Martin Summers: It is very difficult to work out what’s going on in American policy at the moment, isn’t it? There’s clearly a huge fight going on for the control of the aircraft as it were: the co-pilots are trying to override the pilots, etc. It must be very frustrating for the Russian diplomats who have to deal with them. But of course, they are still running the story that somehow Russia interfered in the US election, which on the face of it is a ridiculous allegation. And of course, the substance of it is simply not there.

You saw Lavrov there just basically saying this is a silly allegation. I am afraid we’re going to put up with this. I think they are using this kind of allegation against Trump and his team as the means of pressuring them into taking a more confrontational approach to their relations with Russia. That is very difficult for the Russian side to manage. It is not clear who you are talking to, and how you can get agreements when people keep changing what they are saying.

RT:  Are you at all surprised the Western media repeatedly brought up the election meddling allegations with Sergey Lavrov?

MS: I am not surprised. It is a meme they ran out in the French elections; there is even some talk that the British elections were influenced by Russian hacking – the Brexit vote. Although there is a lot more evidence to suggest that these were billionaires in the US who were influencing the Brexit vote here in Britain…The US system is a notoriously corrupt system with a great deal of influence and meddling going on. Not least from Israelis, the Qataris, the Saudis, where the big paymasters in US politics. The Russians no doubt try to influence things in the directions they would like, but they are minor players compared, for example, to the Israelis.

Writer and investor Charles Ortel said he didn’t see the intelligence reports Tillerson refers to, but in his view, it’s Clinton’s “horrible campaign” that’s to be blamed for her election loss.

“One thing I do know from having watched the full scope of the campaign is that Hillary Clinton and her advisors ran a diabolically horrible campaign. Holding a lot of cards in advance, a lot of extra money, the preference of the journalistic elite, and still she got beaten badly by this upstart Trump, who had never held political office before, who spent far less money. She ran a horrible campaign,” he told RT.

“To suggest the reason Trump won and Hillary lost is because anybody interfered in her abject failure is preposterous at this stage. There are better things our mainstream media could do than going back over this ground again, and again, and again. It is time to think jointly. Russia and the US; the US and other world powers; what are the real problems that we can solve now, as opposed to looking into the rear-view mirror with this tired and frankly embarrassing meme,” he said.

Commenting on the habit of the Trump administration to contradict itself, Ortel suggested it comes from the US president’s background.

“I am told that the way he built his empire was – he liked to have competing points of view on every issue. So he is accustomed to having turmoil and contradiction on his team. He hopes the best decisions will rise out of the contradictions. It is not necessarily the smartest way to run a country, but it is the way he built his fortune,” Ortel said.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.