Helsinki Summit

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for two hours face-to-face today in Helsinki, Finland.  Trump said their initial meeting was “a very good start” to the summit.  During a joint press conference, the president said he raised Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections with Putin.

It will be days before we know all the details.  But I want to counter the media narrative that Trump is somehow weak on Russia.

For example, Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted that Trump cancel the meeting with Putin.  OneCNN host said that Trump “simply cannot be trusted” to talk alone with Russia’s leader.

Where were these Cold Warriors when Barack Obama was caught on an open mic promising to show Putin more flexibility after his 2012 reelection?

Unlike Obama, Trump is sending anti-tank missiles — serious military aid — to help Ukraine thwart Russia’s aggression.

Under Trump, NATO forces conducted military exercises near Russia’s border with Poland and the Baltic nations.

Trump has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia.  (Herehereand here.)

When Russian-led mercenaries approached U.S. positions in Syria, Trump authorized our forces to defend themselves.  Dozens, if not hundreds, of Russian mercenaries were killed.

While Obama hobbled the American energy industry, Trump unleashed American energy production, undercutting one of Russia’s main sources of income.

After years of declining defense spending under Obama, Trump just pushed through a big increase for our national defense.

And he got commitments from NATO nations to boost their own military spending to counter Russia’s aggression.

—Gary Bauer
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