November 21, 2017
On November 21st, President Trump announced that he had held a phone call with Putin lasting over an hour. The call reportedly focused on the Syrian civil war, the global fight against terrorism, the North Korea threat, and the Iran nuclear deal. Coming only a day after Putin was photographed embracing embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi, Trump’s call failed to broach any criticism of Assad or Putin’s decision to veto a US-led UN investigation of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. Putin’s vetoing had come only hours after Trump tweeted about the necessity of the UN resolution in order to “ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again” The call was part of Russian plans to restart talks to find a peaceful conclusion for the war in Syria, which was followed with talks with leadership from Turkey and Iran yesterday.
Trump’s behavior surrounding his relationship with Putin continues to show his habit of playing nice with world leaders whose ideals and ambitions veer wildly from those of longstanding American foreign policy, while being enraged by any perceived slight back home. Putin has demonstrated that his plans for Syria strongly contradict with Washington’s hope to completely remove Assad from power, and he seems to be taking the leading role in the planning of the future of the divided country. This follows in line with Trump’s reticence to condemn or even acknowledge Putin’s interference in the 2016 US Presidential election after their meeting at the APEC summit in Vietnam weeks ago.
- Learn more: This article, written by Susan B. Glasser, takes an in-depth look at the complexities of Trump’s behavior towards Putin and Russian ambitions. It was published by Politico.
- Read a summary of the Trump-Russia scandal: Vox has published a helpful lengthy visual summary of the events corroborating the story that Russia influenced our Presidential election last year.
This brief was compiled by Vaibhav Kumar. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.