On Russia, Trump and his top national security aides seem to be at odds

The Washington Post reports: The message was defiantly optimistic, like a suitor determined to hold a relationship together despite mounting obstacles.

“Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia,” ­President Trump declared on his Twitter account last week. “At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!”

Trump’s interest in achieving warm relations with Moscow has been a consistent theme since the earliest days of his campaign, and it stands now as one of the few major foreign policy positions that he has not discarded or revised since taking office.

But in his devotion to this outcome, Trump appears increasingly isolated within his own administration. Over the past several weeks, senior members of Trump’s national security team have issued blistering critiques of Moscow, using harsh terms that have led to escalating tensions between the countries and seem at odds with the president.

The harsh rhetoric — and the apparent lack of any rebuke from Trump — suggests that Russian skeptics have gained influence in the administration, making the rapprochement that Trump envisioned seem increasingly remote. [Continue reading…]

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