As the United States prepared Wednesday to respond to a suspected chemical attack by the Russia-backed regime in Syria, President Donald Trump lamented the decline in relations with Moscow to below Cold War levels, blaming the predicament on the Russia-collusion investigation.
“Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “No Collusion, so they go crazy!”
The president’s comment came shortly after he warned Russia that the United States will be attacking Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Trump’s warning was in response to an earlier threat by Russia to shoot down any missiles America launches into Syria.
The presence of Russian forces in Syria has long complicated American efforts there, but the latest remarks bring the two world powers to the brink of armed conflict at a time when relations between Washington and Moscow are in decline on several fronts.
At this crucial juncture, Trump would do well with a full range of diplomatic options, but his message appears to suggest that the Russia-collusion investigation is limiting what he can do and puts the global order in peril.
“Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together.”