President Trump called-out his predecessor at a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister Friday; saying Vladimir Putin wouldn’t have invaded the Ukraine if he were president at the time.
Trump was speaking alongside Theresa May when he was asked to comment on his upcoming summit with the Russian President in Helsinki next week, saying “I think we could have a very good relationship with President Putin.”
The President was then asked to weigh-in on Putin’s invasion of Crimea years ago, adding “I don’t think he would have done that if I were president.”
“He took over Crimea during the Obama administration. … This was an Obama disaster, and if I were president then, he would not have taken over Crimea,” he added.
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COLD WAR: Russian Fighter Jet Flies WITHIN 5 FEET of US Plane Over Black Sea
A Russian fighter jet raised alarm bells throughout the Pentagon when it came within five feet of a United States Navy plane in international airspace over the Black Sea; forcing the US aircraft to prematurely end its mission and return to base.
Pentagon officials confirmed the incident on Monday, saying the Russian military performed an “unsafe intercept” of a US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance plane operating in eastern Europe and western Asia.
“This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27’s jet wash,” said Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze.
“The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas (INCSEA),” she added. “Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.”
The incident is the latest example of “unsafe intercepts” between Russian aircraft and NATO forces operating in the area.
Russia, the United States, NATO, and other European militaries operate in close proximity surrounding the Black Sea, particularly since Russia expanded its forces in the region four years ago during its invasion of Crimea.
h/t The Hill
TRUMP STRIKES BACK: White House SLAMS RUSSIA with Sanctions Over Election Meddling
The Trump administration slammed Russia with new sanctions Thursday as a direct response to the Kremlin’s involvement in interfering with the 2016 US presidential election; escalating the war of words between the US and Russia as relations between the two nations continue to deteriorate.
The White House unveiled new sanctions against five Russian-backed institutions and at least 19 foreign nationals for meddling in US electoral politics; raising the stakes just hours after the US and its European allies accused Putin of assassinating a former spy on British soil.
“These sanctions target a wide range of Russia’s destabilizing activities, including interference in the 2016 U.S. election,” said one official from the Treasury Department.
”We continue to be very focused … on pressuring Russia for its continued efforts to destabilize Ukraine, occupy Crimea, meddle in elections, as well as for its endemic corruption and human rights abuses,” they added.
The new sanctions come as President Trump -joined by the leaders of France, the UK, and Germany- formally accused Russia of a deadly gas attack inside the United Kingdom this week; killing a former spy and endangering the lives of hundreds of British nationals.
h/t Daily Mail