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National Security Expert: Obama’s Weakness on Russia Emboldened Putin

At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, Roy Godson, a former consultant on the National Security Council, responded in the affirmative to a question as to whether President Obama’s policies emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) listed out Obama’s many instances of leniency toward Russia:

“In the previous 8 years, Russia had invaded Georgia. It had invaded and seized Crimea. Its rebels had been supported and backed in eastern Ukraine to occupy the Donbass. They had been provided missiles that shot a civilian aircraft out of the sky. And the Obama administration had come into office proclaiming a ‘reset.’ And then in 2012, Barack Obama mocked his opponent for claiming that Russia was our number one foe and promised Dmitry Medvedev that more could be done after the election when he had more flexibility.”

Cotton asked Godson, “Would that series of events have emboldened Vladimir Putin?”

“You’re right,” Godson responded.

“I think that this does not help in restraining Russian interests expanding in the near-abroad and as far-abroad as they can,” Godson added.