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Reality check: CNN’s claim that Trump has been unwilling to confront Putin is total bulls**t

Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia.
Reality check: CNN’s claim that Trump has been unwilling to confront Putin is total bulls**t
Fareed Zakaria is a veteran Putin conspiracy theorist. And you can assume he feels this obsession has helped further his career, especially at CNN.

Back in 2017, he made a pseudo-documentary on Russia’s president, titled “The most powerful man in the world,” which was widely pilloried. Indeed, the Kremlin labeled it “hysterical” and “odious,” and dismissed it as “often complete fiction.”

Russia expert Dominic Basulto summed it up as “what slick propaganda for the masses looks like in the digital era.” Further pointing out how Zakaria failed to disclose his own “Russian collusion” as a host at the 2016 St Petersburg Economic Forum. An appearance which didn’t go very well for the CNN anchor. 

Over the past couple of years, Zakaria has been one of the loudest voices pushing the “Trump/Russia” hoax. But, instead of accepting reality after Robert Mueller’s report kiboshed the yarn, he doubled down. And his latest video is unhinged.

Dubbed ‘Fareed’s take,’ the segment's blurb states “the real puzzle remains: Why has Trump been unwilling to confront Putin in any way on any issue? And will Venezuela be the moment when Trump finally ends his appeasement?” And note the use of the word “appeasement,” intended to ‘Chamberlain’ Trump.

Anyway, let’s not beat around the bush, the clip is complete bulls**t. President Trump has confronted Putin on many issues and their relationship has been hyper-adversarial. In the real world, of course, not the fantasy-land of American network TV.

The ways in which Trump has frustrated his Russian counterpart are myriad:

  • He has withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing Russian non-compliance – a charge the Kremlin rejects.
  • Trump has accepted Montenegro into NATO and will probably add North Macedonia before his term is up. Both countries are in the Balkans, a traditional Russian sphere of influence.
  • Under Trump, the US armed Ukraine with lethal weapons in 2017, a step his predecessor Barack Obama was reluctant to take.
  • The US president expelled dozens of Russian diplomats last year in response to the alleged poisoning of a Russian spy, who defected to Britain. He also closed Russia’s consulate in Seattle (he’d already shuttered the San Francisco equivalent a year earlier).
  • In the spring of 2018, Trump ordered airstrikes against Syria, Russia’s Middle Eastern ally, which Putin condemned “in the most serious way.”
  • The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a major piece of infrastructure for both Germany and Russia, and both countries have invested considerable energy in its completion. But Trump accuses Berlin of “paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia” adding how Germany is “totally controlled by Russia.” US media reported last month that Trump told German Chancellor Merkel: “Angela, you got to stop buying gas from Putin.”
  • Russia has backed the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, which the Americans hope to remove. Just last week, Trump ‘ordered’ Russia to “get out” of Venezuela, despite the fact that they have been there under a treaty with Caracas.

So, there we go again, yet another CNN Russia-related falsehood debunked. If this carries on much longer, the once-respected channel might as well rebrand as “Conspiracy Network News.”

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

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