On Monday morning President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian intelligence officers from the United Sates as well as the closure of a Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington. The President’s decision to expel Russian diplomats and shutter a Russian consulate is in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter which took place in Salisbury, England in early March of this year. Senior officials also cited the proximity of the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington to U.S. submarine bases and Boeing as a deciding factor it’s closure.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats last Wednesday, March 18 over the same nerve agent attack. The United States and the U.K. expelling these diplomats, many of which are known intelligence officers, sends shockwaves through Moscow. Moscow has already announced that they will respond in kind and expel 60 U.S diplomats as they have already responded to the U.K.’s actions and expelled 23 of their diplomats.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stated, “With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences.” “The United States stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can only happen with a change in the Russian government’s behavior.”
As of Monday morning a total of 14 EU member states have joined the effort to punish Moscow for allegedly ordering the nerve agent attack on one of its ex-spies, according to European Council President Donald Tusk. That list includes Germany, Poland, and France. The Ukraine also announced their decision to expel 14 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack.
This race to expel Russian diplomats comes after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May shared with EU leaders why Britain is convinced that Moscow ordered the nerve agent attack. This included the type of poison that was used, a Soviet engineered nerve agent named Novichok, as well as intelligence reports that show Russia has been producing the agent for over a decade.
Many analysts were suspecting Russia from the outset after news broke of yet another ex-Russian spy being poisoned in the United Kingdom. It seems that many ex-Russian spies whom are critical of the Russian government and at times, Vladimir Putin himself, end up dying unseemly deaths in the United Kingdom.
In a similar incident in 2006 an ex-Russian spy and defector to the U.K., Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned by two Russian agents who spiked his tea with polonium-210, a highly radioactive chemical. Litvinenko was hospitalized for weeks and summarily passed away from the poisoning, but not before addressing Putin directly. “You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life,” Litvinenko said from his hospital bed.
President Trump made the logical decision here and used objective intelligence reports in order to come to his decision. White House officials stated that the President ultimately came to this decision after being consulted in numerous intelligence meetings and was continuously kept abreast of the situation over the weekend.
However, we do know that nothing President Trump does will be enough for the mainstream media, and leading Democrats, to drop their conspiracy theories surrounding Trump/Russia collusion. Many members of the mainstream media were busy Monday morning claiming, “The President did not name Putin specifically.” Their motive here is rather clear, they wish to make it appear that Donald Trump didn’t name Putin out of fear. They wish to make it appear that President Trump and Vladimir Putin are friendly when it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Since President Trump has taken office, the United States dropped 59 Tomahawk missiles onto military runways of a key Russian ally, Syria. The United States military also knowingly engaged and killed Russian military personnel in Syria as they attempted to overtake an American held outpost. The FBI indicted a Russian troll farm that was accused of running a disinformation campaign in order to meddle in the presidential election of 2016. President Trump condemned Russia for their alleged nerve agent attack in England, summarily expelled 60 diplomats, and shuttered a Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington. The reality of the Russian-American relationship since President Trump has taken office flies in the face of Russian conspiracy theories, however unrelenting accusations, insinuations, and blind hatred have prevented the President’s accusers from making this realization.