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Wed Jul 11, 2018, 01:09 PM

Timeline: Trump's Acts of Accommodation/Engagement with Russia, Nov. 2016-July 2018

President Donald Trump’s comments and actions in relation to Russia – and especially toward President Vladimir Putin — are strikingly conciliatory considering Moscow’s documented attacks on America’s democracy and its repeated violations of international norms and repression at home. Certainly some U.S. measures under the Trump administration have been contrary to Russian interests if not punitive, including some implementation of sanctions legislation. But Trump signed the sanctions legislation reluctantly, and overall his comments and actions have demonstrated a desire to embrace Russia.

In the past, Just Security published a timeline called, “Russian Provocations and Dangerous Acts since January 20, 2017.” The new timeline below, which now includes developments since early June and up until July 10, 2018, chronicles publicly reported Trump comments and actions toward Russia since the 2016 U.S. presidential election—whether accommodationist or adversarial or defying easy classification. Some may view certain steps as acts of rapprochement aimed at a more cooperative relationship with Russia to fight common enemies and avoid dangerous escalation. Other observers will see the acts as incriminating evidence of a quid pro quo or a dangerous appeasement to an adversary who attacked and continues to attack America’s democratic institutions.

Are we missing anything? If so, tell us on Twitter at Just Security’s account.

Nov. 14, 2016 — In their first official phone call, President-elect Trump and Putin agree on the “absolutely unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations” between Russia and the U.S., according to the New York Times. The two leaders agreed to meet at some point in the future and “endorse” the idea of taking efforts “to normalize relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues.”

Nov. 18, 2016 — President-elect Trump names retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, stirring controversy in part because of Flynn’s ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post. In 2015, Flynn accepted payment from RT — a Russian news channel that had become a propaganda arm — to attend the station’s gala event in Moscow. Putin also attended the gala, and RT later published photos of the two dining next to each other.

Dec. 1 or 2, 2016 — Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak meets with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner in Trump Tower. The meeting is not disclosed to the public until March 2017. The White House first states that its purpose was to “establish a line of communication.” Kislyak later reports to superiors in Moscow that, in the meeting, Kushner suggested setting up a secure channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, to be hosted at the Russian embassy or consulate, according to the Washington Post.

https://www.justsecurity.org/58108/timeline-trumps-acts-accommodation-engagement-russia/

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