Go ahead and tell us again how trump isn’t a traitor in the employ of the Kremlin.
A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump presidency, according to two former administration officials.
While the proposal was ultimately not adopted, it is the first known case of senior aides to Donald Trump seeking to reposition U.S. military forces to please Putin—something that smelled, to a colleague, like a return on Russia’s election-time investment in President Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Among Harrington’s ideas were a fervent belief that economic sanctions, particularly those on Russia, were ultimately harmful to the United States. Early on in his tenure, Harrington prepared a paper for Flynn fleshing out those ideas into something approaching a grand strategy—and then going further than any gesture toward Russia thus far reported.
With a large map showing Europe hanging on a wall in a White House office, Harrington was dismissive of U.S. interests in the Baltics and wondered aloud about their importance in the context of U.S.-Russian relations. American forces have remained on the continent for 70 years to deter the Soviet Union and, later, to reassure allies nervous about a resurgent Russia near their borders. The map did not show those U.S. troop positions—but it did provide a symbolic backdrop to what Harrington’s one-time associate believed was a most disturbing proposal.
Harrington’s former colleague told The Daily Beast that Harrington asked about the prospect of withdrawing or repositioning U.S. forces from the Baltics—nations once part of the Soviet Union and periodically swallowed up by Russia ever since Peter the Great shattered Swedish hegemony in northern Europe in the early 18th century. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania gained NATO accession in 2004 to guarantee their independence, a measure stridently opposed by Vladimir Putin, who saw the transatlantic military alliance not only enlarged but encroached within what Russia considers its sphere of influence.
Robert Mueller can’t finish his investigation soon enough.