I've previously made it clear that, despite possible missteps, I think President Trump was on the right track in dealing with Russia. If you didn't watch the video interview with him I posted over the weekend, I suggest you do so now, because it makes even more sense in the light of the clip below.
Two US academics and foreign policy specialists, Stephen F. Cohen and John Mearsheimer, state bluntly that President Trump may be absolutely correct to blame many of the problems in our relationship with Russia on previous US administrations - and that he may be absolutely correct about the way forward. They both know their subject - read their linked bios if you doubt that - and are worthy of respect. This is a short discussion, but well worth watching, and thinking about.
I've said before that we should watch, not what President Trump says, but what he does. His words are often a smoke-screen, designed to make his critics react in a certain way, but to accomplish a great deal beneath the surface that they don't notice until it's too late to stop it. It's been said that his news media critics in particular are cats, and he's holding a laser pointer. He can make them chase their tails in outraged frustration all day long . . . and while they're doing that, he's getting down to business. So far, I've seen nothing to persuade me that analysis is inaccurate.
I think we're seeing a great deal of consternation and monkeyhouse from President Trump's critics - all of which he's ignoring. He's getting down to the nuts and bolts of reality. He's doing it with President Putin of Russia; he's doing it with North Korea; he's doing it with Mexico, where some unexpected developments hold promise for a renegotiated NAFTA and a more stable relationship. I think Messrs. Cohen and Mearsheimer have the right of it. If anyone can fix our dysfunctional relationship with Russia, I think President Trump and President Putin - both masters of realpolitik, one first in the business world, the other first in the intelligence community, and both now applying those backgrounds to geopolitics - can do it. They understand one another. They understand reality, and the art of the deal. I'm hopeful.
As for President Trump being a puppet, with Russia pulling the strings . . . oh, please. That's been done to death, and no substantive evidence whatsoever has been provided, uncovered, discovered, or even manufactured to make the charge believable. Toss it in the garbage where it belongs.