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Iran Press TV

McMaster: We have failed to impose sufficient costs on Russia

Iran Press TV

Wed Apr 4, 2018 02:07PM

Outgoing US national security adviser H.R. McMaster has criticized President Donald Trump's policy on Russia, saying Washington has "failed to impose sufficient costs," on Moscow.

"For too long, some nations have looked the other way in the face of these threats. Russia brazenly, and implausibly denies its actions, and we have failed to impose sufficient costs," McMaster said Tuesday during a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

"The Kremlin's confidence is growing," he continued. "Russia has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies."

The comments came hours after Trump, in a White House news conference with Baltic state leaders, stated, "Nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have."

"Ideally we want to get along with Russia. Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Maybe we will, maybe we won't," Trump said. "Probably no one has been tougher to Russia than I have."

Trump has been criticized by Russia policy experts and Democratic lawmakers in Congress for refraining from forcefully condemning Moscow's actions, including its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and global cyber attacks.

Trump issued his strongest action against Russia last week when he ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats in the US in the wake of the UK nerve agent attack.

McMaster was the target of public rebuke by Trump earlier this year after he stated that evidence of Russian meddling in the US presidential elections was "incontrovertible."

McMaster's remarks highlight the disagreements between Trump, who frequently emphasizes the potential benefits of getting along with Russia, and his top advisers, whose skepticism of Moscow follows traditional Republican doctrine.

Trump said last month he is replacing McMaster with John Bolton, a noted hard-liner and bureaucratic infighter who has argued for attacking Iran and North Korea.

Bolton, a 69-year-old Fox News analyst, was the former US ambassador to the UN during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

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