On Monday, following the explosive 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday night featuring Donald Trump’s alleged former adult film star mistress Stormy Daniels, the White House made a surprise major foreign policy announcement involving Trump’s benefactor Russia.
The administration announced that it plans to expel dozens of Russian diplomats from the U.S. as a retaliatory measure against Russia for their involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy on United Kingdom soil.
Trump officials say that 48 Russians from posts across the nation, including the embassy in Washington D.C. and 12 stations to the United Nations in New York, will be immediately expelled from the U.S. for their alleged involvement in spy activity against the U.S. and its allies.
According to a senior administration official, the diplomats are being given just seven days to depart the country. The administration is also ordering that the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington be closed down. They allege that the embassy served as a critical intelligence-gathering hub for Russian spies. The facility is located near several major installations such as a U.S. naval base and several manufacturing plants for Boeing, the aerospace juggernaut who’s also a primary defense contractor.
“With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
This action by the U.S. represents the first direct action by the Trump administration against Russia as punishment for the nerve-agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergi Skripal and his daughter who both fell gravely ill earlier this month in Salisbury, England.
“This was a reckless attempt by the Russian government to murder a British citizen and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent,” a senior administration official said, adding that “an attack on America’s closest ally … cannot go unanswered.”
The administration’s actions are in concert with 14 European Union member states, which also announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats under suspicion of spy activity.
Last week Trump ignored his advisers and called Russian President Vladimir Putin for his highly-suspicious election victory in which he managed to retain his lifetime hold on power. In the past, Trump had expressed his desire to improve relations with Russia and build a closer relationship with Putin.
However, with this latest report, it now seems that Trump may be burning a vital bridge, one that may hold much more relevance to Trump’s diplomatic motivations than he would have people know. That’s because according to reports, Putin may be in possession of sensitive blackmail material on Trump from the billionaire’s long business ties to the Russian nation.
The idea that this major initiative had nothing to do with the Stormy Daniels interview, following Trump’s reluctance Friday to sign the $1.3 trillion budget bill which included provisions on punishing Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, is laughable.
Trump believes he presides over a nation of fools, and he may be partly right. However, come this November he’ll soon realize that like his inauguration crowd size, the number of idiots he holds sway over is much smaller than he’d like to believe.
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller quietly continues his work, making a note of everything Trump says and does.