President Donald Trump accused his predecessor Barack Obama of being “too soft” on Russia, after spending the early morning dismissing reports of his campaign’s ties to the country as “nonsense.”
“Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?,” Trump tweeted.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer spent some of his briefing Tuesday asserting Trump’s strength against Russia, specifically regarding the “occupation” of Crimea.
“President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea,” Spicer said.
Spicer also said that “the previous administration [allowed Crimea] to be seized by Russia.”
Russia seemed to dismiss the White House’s stance on Wednesday, according to CNN, as Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “We’re not returning our territory. Crimea is part of the Russian Federation.”
Previously, in a conversation with the New York Times in March 2016 when he was a presidential candidate, while speaking about the fact that the US “bears far too much of the cost of NATO,” Trump noted that “the United States was going out and […] being fairly tough on the Ukraine.”
“Why is it always the United States that gets right in the middle of things, with something that — you know, it affects us, but not nearly as much as it affects other countries,” Trump said. “We’re fighting for the Ukraine, but nobody else is fighting for the Ukraine other than the Ukraine itself, of course, and I said, it doesn’t seem fair and it doesn’t seem logical.”
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