Monday, March 26, 2018

Robert Wright — Overdoing the Russia Thing

I hate to obsess over the Resistance’s obsession with this whole Russia thing, but: This week brought (1) a fresh reminder that Russia is far from the only country whose influence on American politics bears watching; and (2) a reminder of the (as economists say) “opportunity cost” of spending so much time watching Russia.
On Wednesday the New York Times reported that the United Arab Emirates had steered $200 million to a Republican National Committee official, apparently in an attempt to influence Trump’s foreign policy. As the Times reported, UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, which was part of the same lobbying effort, wanted Trump “to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson” and to adopt more “confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar.” As the New York Times noted, all of this came to pass after the RNC official personally lobbied Trump.
Could be a coincidence; we have no way of knowing how influential, if at all, this lobbying was. But the evidence of influence is at least as strong as the evidence that Trump is being influenced by some sort of leverage over him that Russia is hypothesized to have....
Inquiring minds would also like to know what influence the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation while HRC was Secretary of State may have had.

American Committee for East-West Accord
Robert Wright: Overdoing the Russia Thing

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