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Washington Post columnist Ishaan Tharoor and Ruby Mellen wrote in Today’s WorldView on October 6, 2020 that while Russia is revving up its meddling in the November 3, 2020 election, COVID-stricken US President Donald Trump continues to pay no heed to warnings aired by FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.

Former national security adviser John Bolton claimed he was afraid to leave Trump alone with Putin at a 2018 summit and alleged that Trump was loath to bring up election interference in his private conversations with the Russian leader. His predecessor, H.R. McMaster, said last week that Trump was “aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts” by stoking uncertainty about mail-in voting and the credibility of the US election. “You know, Putin gets away with, I mean, literally murder or attempted murder . . . because people don’t call him out on it,” McMaster said on MSNBC. “And so they are able to continue with this kind of fire hose of falsehood, to sow these conspiracy theories. And we just can’t be our own worst enemies.”

No matter the Trump administration’s anti-Moscow moves, “you have a White House that has not been communicating a strong stance against Russia,” Alina Polyakova, the president and CEO of the European Center for Policy Analysis, told Today’s WorldView.

The Russians “have been able to carry out all kinds of mischief,” she said, from Afghanistan, Syria and Libya to the Baltic Sea, exploiting the Trump regime’s dissonant, “incomprehensible foreign policy agenda” and Trump’s own seeming unwillingness to confront Putin.

As president, most experts expect Joe Biden to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and work in greater concert with European partners who are also taking a tougher line. “If Biden is elected, we will confront a consolidation of the West on an anti-Russian platform,” said Andrey Kortunov, head of the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council, to Bloomberg News. Biden branded Trump “Putin’s puppy” in their first debate, while shrugging off a largely unproven Republican allegation that his son received an illicit $3.5 million payment from the wife of Moscow’s ex-mayor. In a CNN town hall last month, Biden labeled Russia an “opponent.” His 2011 visit to the Russian capital as vice president is still remembered for his perceived affront of telling opposition leaders that Putin should not run for president again (he’s now extended his rule until 2036).

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@2020 by The Financial District