Last week’s US attack on Syria has led to soaring tensions, particularly with Russia. US-Russia relations were already at this worst point since the Cold War, and the attack made them dramatically worse. It has proven, however, to be politically convenient for Trump.
Eric Trump, the president’s son, argued that the attack had finally proven that Trump wasn’t secretly in league with Russia. He went on to insist that the president would not be intimidate by Russia’s warning that further attacks could lead to war, and that he would act if Russia dared to “cross us.” This does not appear to be just an idle, one-off comment by a relative either.
Other analysts, including a Republican strategist, are saying roughly the same thing, that the Trump Administration can point to the attack on Syria, and the huge worsening of tensions with Russia, as proof he was never cozy with them in the first place.
Indeed, there is already speculation that this is going to be an important part of his defense in ongoing federal probes alleging Russian interference on his behalf in the 2016 election. Obviously there wasn’t serious evidence of the election allegations in the first place, meaning a major focus will be on public opinion. To that end, picking a fight with Russia by attacking Syria could be ultimately a big PR move.
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