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Who’s Tougher on Russia? Tom Cotton Contrasts Trump and Obama

The Arkansas Senator compared Trump’s first five months to Obama’s eight years of appeasement.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday, compared the Russia policies of presidents Trump and Obama, demonstrating how much tougher the 45th president has been than his predecessor.

Cotton called the idea that Obama had been tougher than Trump on Russia a “myth.”

“Let’s review what’s happened in the first five months of [the Trump] administration,” Cotton said.

He then proceeded to list every action Trump has taken against Russia and its allies in the Middle East:

President Trump has bombed [Sharyat] military base in Syria. He has shot down Syrian planes. He has shot down Iranian drones. Thereby Russia is unable to protect its two main clients in the Middle East. We’re on the verge of deploying more troops to Afghanistan where Russia has been meddling with ever greater intensity in recent years. And we have finally proposed a budget that increases military spending, albeit, not enough, that accelerates ballistic missile defense. And our domestic agencies are doing everything they can to promote oil and gas production in the United States.

Cotton, a rising conservative star, then went in on Obama’s Russia policies:

President Obama famously pressed the reset button a few weeks into his tenure, six months after Russia invaded Georgia. He mocked Mitt Romney for calling Russia our number one geopolitical foe. He asked Dmitry Medvedev in a hot mic moment to wait until after the election to discuss missile defenses because he would have more flexibility. Despite bipartisan support in the Congress, President Obama refused to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. He stood idly by as Russia returned to the Middle East for the first time in 40 years, and he stood idly by, as we’ve heard today, in the 2016 election.

The message of Arkansas senator’s summary was clear: Russia has faced a tougher opponent in Trump than Obama.