Rex Tillerson To Skip NATO Meeting, Visit Russia Instead


NOTE:  Is there anyone in the Trump Administration who is coordinating Trump's cabinet chiefs' activities and travels?  Doesn't look like it to me.  So the Secretary of State is going to skip a NATO meeting and visit Moscow instead.  Ummm.....   Not to be the bearer of bad news but the Republican controlled House of Representatives Intelligence Committee just held a public hearing yesterday, at which FBI Director, James Comey, and NSA head,  Admiral Mike Rogers, actually testified (under oath, mind you) that since last July Trump's and the Trump Team's connections to, collusion with, and cooperation with Russia and Russian operatives have been under investigation by the FBI and, presumably, one or more of our 17 intelligence agencies.  Would it be too gauche to point out that it's kinda a kick in America's face for Rex Tillerson to be skipping NATO but traveling to Moscow to bow and scape at Vlad Putin's feet.  Just sayin'.

By Mark Sumner
March 21, 2017
Daily KOS

On Monday, the Director of the FBI revealed that there was an active investigation into collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence. But what no one got around to asking was whether the FBI was checking for ongoing collusion between the Trump regime and his pal Vladimir. Because in the list of things you can do to show you don’t have a soft spot for Russia, item number one might be this.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China's president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday, disclosing an itinerary that allies may see as giving Moscow priority over them.
Chief among the items that have made people concerned about Trump’s obsequious attitude toward Russia is his frequent threats to weaken or abandon support for NATO allies. This is a top notch effort at making it clear everyone’s fears that Trump valued the relationship with Moscow over the connections that have kept both the United States and Western Europe intact for generations is right on the mark.
Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers first, while leaving waiting those smaller nations that depend on Washington for security, two former U.S. officials said.
Choosing to work with “big powers” first isn’t the concern.
Trump has often praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Tillerson worked with Russia's government for years as a top executive at Exxon Mobil Corp, and has questioned the wisdom of sanctions against Russia that he said could harm U.S. businesses.
There. That’s the concern.



Tillerson won’t exactly be on new turf. He’s an old Moscow hand, what with his $500 billion deal with Putin just waiting for Trump to flip the off switch on US sanctions. 
"I cannot fathom why the Administration would pursue this course except to signal a change in American foreign policy that draws our country away from western democracy's most important institutions and aligns the United States more closely with the autocratic regime in the Kremlin," [Representative Eliot Engel] added.
Not to put too fine a point on it but … ding, ding, ding. Do we have a prize for Representative Engel? Perhaps a nice little bear.
A former U.S. official echoed the view.
"It feeds this narrative that somehow the Trump administration is playing footsie with Russia," said the former U.S. official on condition of anonymity.
If by ‘footsie,’ that official means making an enormous deal that would increase Russia’s reach and power into both Europe and the Middle East, Trump and Tillerson are right on top of it. 
And for those who were thinking that this was simply an unfortunate alignment of dates, that the United States wouldn’t blow off NATO to visit China and Russia if it was at all possible to make the timing work out … no.
A former U.S. official and a former NATO diplomat, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said the alliance offered to change the meeting dates so Tillerson could attend it and the Xi Jinping talks but the State Department had rebuffed the idea.
Rex Tillerson isn’t just standing up NATO. He’s deliberately standing up NATO, then making a special call on Moscow.
Since those public hearings about Russian influence in our elections are supposed to be an ongoing series, it would be nice if someone could explain the Russian connection, not doing the election, but right now—the connection that’s ripping out our alliances and an existential threat democracy.

NOTE:  It took me a long time to come around to the idea that Russia had pulled off what one might call a "silent coup" here in America but I have to say that I'm getting more and more friendly to the idea.  Troubling for me, however, is just how broad and just how deep does this Russian influence go?  Is it because of Russian influence that James Comey failed (forgot?) to mention that the Trump Team had been under FBI investigation since July last year when he felt compelled to publicly announce that the FBI was re-opening the Hillary e-mail threat to National Security ten days before the election as a result of Anthony Weiner's dick pics?  Plus his excuse for not revealing this rather important info and the difference between the Russian Coup investigation and the Hillary's e-mails investigation was not terribly convincing.  If fact, it smelled to high heaven.  

Never Mind.  Have A Good Day!  Stay Calm! 

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