Retired General Barry McCaffrey recently claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin wishes to see Trump return to power. The Vietnam veteran also warned about the national security risk a second Trump term would pose.
Putin missing Trump
Retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey recently said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “actively hoping” that former President Trump wins the 2024 election and returns to power.
A friendly relationship
Republican frontrunner Trump has long praised the Russian leader and has quoted him on the campaign trail. At a recent rally in Durham, New Hampshire, the former president quotes Putin’s criticism of the numerous criminal charges facing Trump.
“Even Vladimir Putin…says that Biden’s, and this is a quote, politically motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Trump said, quoting a comment made during an economic forum in Russia last year. Putin did not mention Biden in the original quote.
Liz Cheney gives her two cents
Former Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney had a scathing response to Putin’s comments at the time, posting on X: “Putin has now officially endorsed the Putin-wing of the Republican party. Putin Republicans and their enablers will end up on the ash heap of history. Patriotic Americans in both parties who believe in the values of liberal democracy will make sure of it.”
Poor choice of company
“I have never understood this whole relationship between Mr. Trump and Putin. Putin is a thug, a murderer, he’s gotten the Russian Federation into terrible trouble economically, politically. He stamped out free speech. So, why Mr. Trump seems to be in league with this desperado is hard to understand,” McCaffrey said during his recent appearance on MSNBC.
Trump’s a national security risk
McCaffrey added: “Yes, Putin and for that matter other criminal enterprises like the North Koreans are actively hoping to have Mr. Trump back in office, where in my personal opinion, he would be devastatingly bad for U.S. national security.”
McCaffrey served in the U.S. Army for 32 years and is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who later served as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Bill Clinton.
The relationship between Trump and Putin has been scrutinized since the former president’s 2016 run when questions of alleged Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump’s campaign arose.
Following Trump’s 2016 victory against Hillary Clinton, the DOJ launched an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller led the investigation, and the findings were made public in the notorious March 2019 Mueller report.
“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” the report said.
But Trump did try to obstruct justice
Russia has consistently denied allegations of election interference, and Trump described the Mueller report as a “complete and total exoneration.” However, regarding Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice, the report said, “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
No voter fraud was found in either investigation
“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” the report said. A March 2021 U.S. intelligence report later alleged Russia tried to help Trump in the 2020 election but couldn’t find evidence of voter fraud.
Putin wanted to undermine U.S. confidence
The 2021 report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Putin authorized “influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbating socio-political divisions in the U.S.”
Biden won despite Russian efforts
The Kremlin again denied allegations that it had interfered in this latest election, which Trump lost to President Biden. Trump denied being “given help from any country” in the election.