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Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump WSJ .pdf



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Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump - Was...http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/11/16/watch...

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http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/11/16/watch-out-for-putin-senators-warn-trump/

WASHINGTON WIRE | FOREIGN POLICY

Wat ch Out for Put in, Senat or s War n
Tr ump
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers express concern over president-elect's foreign-policy ambiguity
By FELICIA SCHWARTZ AND KRISTINA PETERSON
Nov 16, 2016 6:30 am ET

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday he feared Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured, would cement Kremlin
influence in Ukraine while President-elect Donald Trump is figuring out his foreign policy. PHOTO: ZUMA PRESS

Two senior Senate Republicans are warning Donald Trump against cozying up to
Moscow as lawmakers from both political parties voice alarm about potential
consequences of the president-elect’s foreign-policy moves.
Republicans and Democrats alike are struggling to assess Mr. Trump’s apparent
policy priorities, from improving U.S. relations with Russia to rethinking
participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman,
warned Tuesday against rapprochement with Moscow after what appeared to be

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Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump - Was...http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/11/16/watch...

an amicable Monday phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian President
Vladimir Putin, based on accounts from the president-elect’s office and the
Kremlin.
“At the very least, the price of another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and
Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people,” Mr. McCain said, referring to Syria’s
president, Bashar al-Assad. “That is an unacceptable price for a great nation.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), chairman of a Senate Appropriations Committee
foreign operations subpanel, said Tuesday he disagreed with Mr. Trump’s views
about Moscow and feared that Mr. Putin would take advantage while Mr. Trump
is figuring out his policy, including by cementing Kremlin influence in Ukraine
after seizing the Crimea region in 2014.
“I worry about Russia,” Mr. Graham said. “They’re a bad actor in the world. They
need to be reined in. We need not concede Crimea.”
At a meeting with reporters at the Capitol, he added: “I fear that if we don’t let
them know the rules of the road pretty early, then they go deeper into western
Ukraine. I worry about what they are trying to do to lock Assad into power.”
Mr. Graham said
Republicans can’t
allow Russian
cyberattacks that
appeared to interfere
with the U.S. election
“go unanswered
because it may have
been beneficial to our
cause for the
moment.”
He said he wants to
convene a hearing to
examine Moscow’s activities in Eastern Europe, Syria and its cyber activities
related to the U.S. election.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) PHOTO: CLIFF OWEN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama initially pursued a “reset” with Russia, in between Mr.
Putin’s stints as president. Relations soured following the crisis in Ukraine,
Moscow’s expanded military support to Mr. Assad in Syria, and what U.S. officials

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Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump - Was...http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/11/16/watch...

have called Russian interference in the U.S. election.
Mr. Trump said during his campaign that he’d reconsider U.S. defense of NATO
allies if they didn’t pay their fair share. Only five of NATO’s 28 members
contribute the 2% of GDP to national defense that the alliance requires, although
defense spending by most has risen.
Mr. McCain, long a critic of Russia and a supporter of providing lethal arms to
Ukraine, said Mr. Trump shouldn’t trust Mr. Putin’s calls for a thaw.
“We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former
KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political
opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to
undermine America’s elections,” he said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), the Senate majority leader, said he wouldn’t
support a shift away from the U.S.’s strong support to NATO allies.
“The NATO alliance is every bit as important today as it ever was,” Mr.
McConnell told reporters last week. “You attack any member of NATO, you have
us to deal with. I want the Russians to understand that fully.”
Some Republicans said they viewed Mr. Trump’s NATO comments as warnings
designed to pressure other nations to pay more.
“I understand that as a negotiating tactic and I suspect it will be a fairly
successful negotiating tactic in getting Europe as well as Japan and Korea to pay
their share,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R.,
Calif.).
Democrats have said Mr. Trump’s ability to conduct foreign policy is one of their
top concerns.
“Seventy percent of the sleep that I’ve lost since Tuesday night is over thinking
about Trump’s foreign policy,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) in an
interview. “We can build some bridges with him and then we can also stop some
of the more radical ideas on domestic policy, but the checks and balances don’t
work as well on foreign policy. He’s got latitude on sanctions policy, non-treaty
agreements.”
More:
Donald Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped
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Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump - Was...http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/11/16/watch...

Elizabeth Warren Sends Trump Letter Criticizing Transition Team’s Wall Street
Ties
House Republicans Nominate Paul Ryan for Speaker
House Democrats Pressure Pelosi Amid Party Turmoil
On GOP Path to Health-Law Repeal, Questions Emerge

Share this: http://on.wsj.com/2fWVylz
DONALD TRUMP (HTTP://BLOGS.WSJ.COM/WASHWIRE/TAG/DONALD-TRUMP/)
JOHN MCCAIN (HTTP://BLOGS.WSJ.COM/WASHWIRE/TAG/JOHN-MCCAIN/)
LINDSEY GRAHAM (HTTP://BLOGS.WSJ.COM/WASHWIRE/TAG/LINDSEY-GRAHAM/)
NATO (HTTP://BLOGS.WSJ.COM/WASHWIRE/TAG/NATO/)
VLADIMIR PUTIN (HTTP://BLOGS.WSJ.COM/WASHWIRE/TAG/VLADIMIR-PUTIN/)
Copyright 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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