‘I think it’s possible” that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, disgraced former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. McCabe also said to The Atlantic that FBI brass felt “concern about the president and whether or not he posed a national-security threat that we should be investigating.”On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly in Moscow. “Let me be loud and clear,” he told lawmakers near the Kremlin. “If the U.S. really is going to deploy missiles on the European continent, it will exacerbate the international situation and create a genuine danger for Russia, as there will be missiles with a 10–12-minute flight time to Moscow.” Putin lamented America’s February 1 withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty and added: “We are ready for disarmament talks, but we are no longer going to knock on a closed door.”McCabe’s bizarre comments perfectly echo the Trump-hating Left’s exhausted yet unsinkable theory that the president of the United States secretly works for Russia, Russia, Russia, and that he and Putin somehow swiped the White House from Hillary Clinton, who had waited her turn patiently to become America’s commander-in-chief.But only a thoroughly rotten Russian asset would create genuine danger for the Kremlin and close doors to Moscow. Indeed, President Trump routinely gives Putin ulcers.A Russian asset worth his borscht would work quietly to erode America’s military. Instead, Pentagon spending has soared from Obama’s final $521 billion allocation to Trump’s $634 billion in outlays for 2017 (up 21.7 percent) and another $716 billion last August (up 12.9 percent).Not satisfied simply to bolster the U.S. armed forces, Trump has pressured America’s NATO allies to do the same. Some criticize Trump for supposedly abusing our European partners. Actually, he has lavished them with tough love.“By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense,” NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said January 27 on Fox News Sunday. “So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.” Stoltenberg added: “NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before.”None of this makes Vladimir Putin smile.Putin must have groaned last October when President Trump persuaded German chancellor Angela Merkel to spend $576 million on a terminal to receive U.S. liquefied natural gas. The Wall Street Journal called this “a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.” This promises less revenue and leverage for Moscow and more profits and employment for American gas exporters.Adjacent to Russia, Trump restored Poland’s purchase of U.S. Patriot air-defense missiles (which Obama canceled to appease Moscow). Trump also shipped Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.Last June, and in January 2017, Trump imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian companies and oligarchs. This was payback for Moscow’s invasions of Ukraine and Crimea and its interference in U.S. political campaigns. As Trump said: “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”If anyone behaved like a Russian asset, it was Obama. Trump’s predecessor launched the soft-on-Moscow “Russian Reset.” He was caught on a hot mic in March 2012 whispering to Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev: “This is my last election,” Obama said at a conference in Seoul. “After my election I have more flexibility,” especially on matters like anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, on which Russia frowned. “I understand,” Medvedev replied. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”As The Weekly Standard recalled, “the Obama administration removed a group of missile launchers from near the Russian border with Poland after Moscow objected to their placement.” Obama refused to arm Ukraine’s anti-Putin fighters. Obama’s first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said in March 2010: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.” This apparently included encouraging Cisco Systems, Google, and Intel to open shop at Skolkovo, a sort of Russian Silicon Valley. The Pentagon and FBI eventually learned that the entire project was a giant technology-theft scam.Strengthening Russia also involved greenlighting Moscow’s purchase of Uranium One Inc. and its 20 percent share of U.S. uranium reserves. This company’s top investors donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. What a coincidence.Alas, fact-o-phobic Trump haters like Andrew McCabe consider him a pro-Moscow mole even as they wink at Obama’s and Hillary’s Russophilia.Michael Malarkey furnished research for this opinion piece.
Vietnam has been preparing for Kim to arrive by train for the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters on Wednesday. Kim's train will stop at the border station of Dong Dang where he will disembark and proceed 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by car, the sources said. Traffic on that route will be partially banned from 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 and fully banned from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 26, the ruling Communist Party's Nhan Dan paper reported, citing the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.
On the border with Colombia, National Guard soldiers fired volleys of tear gas and plastic pellets at supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who were trying to persuade them to defect and permit tons of food and medicine into the country. Masked paramilitary gangs supporting the autocrat Maduro tore through the area there on motorcycles, firing guns in the air. Maduro said on state television that his forces had managed to repel an invasion and said he was breaking off diplomatic relations with Colombia.
Three of the world’s biggest airlines have admitted some of their planes have cameras installed on the backs of passenger seats. American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have new seat-back entertainment systems that include cameras. Companies that make the entertainment systems are fitting them with cameras to offer passengers options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.