Vladimir Putin will not react to Obama’s sanctions in response to Russian interference with the U.S. elections. He is waiting for Trump to come into the office and ‘fix’ things for him.
Trump calls Putin smart. The GOP is saying that Putin outsmarted Obama.
Obama issued sanctions as a response to Russia’s interference with US elections. Virtually everyone except Trump says Russia interfered. While the GOP leaders say Putin was smart for not reacting, they will need to make a decision come January 20th. Is the GOP willing to back Trump as he removes the sanctions, or oppose him?
Come January 20th, Trump will have to show his hand.
If Trump reverses the sanctions, he will be seen as Putin’s puppet; he will confirm himself as the pawn so many fear he may be. With virtually all intelligence agencies and the congressional leadership agreeing that Russia did interfere, with the exception of his most blind followers, Trump will be seen as putting himself above U.S. interests and cozy up to Putin.
Should Trump continue the sanctions, he will then immediately face the reaction of Putin. Because of domestic politics, Putin will have to react. His entire support mechanism is based on external enemies and his unique ability to deal with them. Should the sanctions remain in effect, his domestic position will require action.
The notion that Putin outsmarted Obama is shortsighted. Obama is not Putin’s target; Trump is Putin’s target, and Trump’s ego has him walking headlong into the trap.