VideoCast: Trump’s Russian Albatross

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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at last weekend's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam

I joined Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story on Sunday to consider how Donald Trump — and US foreign policy — have been compromised by the relationship of Trump and his advisors with Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin.

The discussion begins with Trump’s weekend statements expressing belief in Putin over Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election. It continues with a look at how Moscow’s leverage has bolstered interventions from Ukraine to Syria and supported Russian efforts for the removal of US sanctions.

The other contributors are Alexey Khlebnikov of the Russian International Affairs Council and former FBI deputy general counsel Lisa Osofsky.

What Russia is trying to do is exploit Trump’s personal view to get foreign policy advantage. Because Trump says, off the top of his head, “Putin’s a great guy we’ve got to work with him”, Russia says, “Let’s leverage that to pull the US along in Syria.”

Russia’s also going to try to leverage this with Trump over Ukraine. And the Russians are going to use the personal relationship with Trump to fight back against Congress passing additional sanctions.

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