By Patrick J. Buchanan
February 7, 2017

Is Donald Trump to be allowed to craft a foreign policy based on the ideas on which he ran and won the presidency in 2016?

Our foreign policy elite’s answer appears to be a thunderous no.

Case in point: U.S. relations with Russia.

During the campaign Trump was clear. He would seek closer ties with Russia and cooperate with Vladimir Putin in smashing al-Qaida and ISIS terrorists in Syria, and leave Putin’s ally Bashar Assad alone.

With this diplomatic deal in mind, President Trump has resisted efforts to get him to call Putin a “thug” or a “murderer.” Asked during his taped Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly whether he respected Putin, Trump said that, as a leader, yes.

O’Reilly pressed, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”To which Trump replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

While his reply was clumsy, Trump’s intent was commendable.

If he is to negotiate a modus vivendi with a nation with an arsenal of nuclear weapons sufficient to end life as we know it in the USA, probably not a good idea to start off by calling its leader a “killer.”

Mitch McConnell rushed to assure America he believes Putin is a “thug” and any suggestion of a moral equivalence between America and Russia is outrageous.

Apparently referring to a polonium poisoning of KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko, Marco Rubio tweeted, “When has a Democratic political activist ever been poisoned by the GOP? Or vice versa?”

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