Continetti: Trump and His Team Recognize Russia Is Not Trustworthy

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Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Friday that President Donald Trump and senior officials of the Trump administration know not to trust the Russian government.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to meet in Helsinki next week, just as American officials indicted several Russian intelligence members for hacking activity during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Critics of Trump have feared that Trump would give away too much in their upcoming meeting. However, Continetti said the Trump administration officials won't make the mistake of trusting Putin and the Russian government after they broke a Syrian cease-fire agreement last year.

Fox News anchor Mike Emanuel asked Continetti what he expects to come from the summit, noting that both leaders seem to want to use charm. Continetti said Trump and his officials have reason to be skeptical of Russia.

"I think the President and his team recognize that a year ago when President Trump met with President Putin, they arranged a cease-fire in southwestern Syria, a cease-fire that was broken by the Syrian government, aided by the Russian government last month," Continetti said. "So I think that goes a long way to telling us how much trust we should put in Russian promises, which is not much."

Continetti also said that the United States may be able to reach a deal with Russia if the goal isn't too high. He recommended focusing on trade policy issues and then perhaps looking at arms control agreements, naming the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

"Keep your objectives low," Continetti said, referring to the Trump administration. "Trade, maybe an extension of START with Russian compliance on the INF Treaty, which they have been in violation of now for over a year, and maybe you have a deal."

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