Frosty US-Russia relations about to get even colder — Analysis


On Thursday, The Washington Post published transcripts of Trump's sometimes fraught calls in the early days of his presidency with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Financials, up 0.9 percent, were the best performing S&P sector, but gains on the broader S&P 500 were curbed by a decline in healthcare names, and an 11.5 percent drop in Viacom. At the end of the day, on the one side, a guilty Russia has to pay.

President Trump says the Russia story is a, quote, "total fabrication" pushed by Democrats, who lack a positive agenda and are just making excuses for their election loss last year. Trump has tweeted about the "witch hunt" more than a dozen times since Mueller was appointed.

Thomas Zeno, a former federal prosecutor, told the Journal that impaneling a grand jury is "confirmation that this is a very vigorous investigation going on".

The document request, while not a formal subpoena, was the latest signal that the probe is gathering pace.

Kelly has put a stop to aides sauntering into the Oval Office whenever they felt like it - Trump tends to echo the last person he's spoken with - and has demanded that papers and memos for the president be submitted to him first.

There is also no indication that the grand jury his team is now using in Washington was specifically impaneled for the Russia investigation. But he was remarkably on-script last night. He'd already fired FBI director James Comey, but by law, he couldn't fire Mueller himself, so he tried to bully Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had (appropriately) recused himself from the investigation, into resigning. The president is angry about what the Republican-led Congress couldn't do — repeal Obamacare — as well as one of the few things it did: approve a Russia sanctions bill he detests. An email from an intermediary vowing Russian government support for the Trump candidacy and promising to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton? "And if he doesn't, we'll have to figure out from a congressional standpoint what we do".

Trump's legal team responded to Thursday's reports exactly in the way that might be expected of a conventional White House, with a sense of professionalism that has often been lacking from the administration. The Wall Street Journal first reported the use of a grand jury. The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. The complaint alleges that Harvard has discriminated against Asian-Americans in its admissions policies. Cornyn said a physical barrier is appropriate in certain spots along the border, but there is not a "one size fits all" solution.

GREENE: Let's start with this grand jury, if we can.

Moreover, this isn't the only grand jury Mueller is overseeing. "It just makes them feel better when they have nothing else to talk about".

The Americans have secured much of the Great Northern European Plain, the main avenue for invasion and infiltration into Russia's heartland.

This bill doesn't necessarily spend money, Cornyn said, but will give those working in appropriations to authorize the money.

Former CIA analyst and FBI official Phil Mudd said he didn't buy the White House message that no one was rattled.

Still, experts said Russia would not likely risk a war with the United States.

"While on the face of it Western sanctions haven't wreaked havoc on the Russian economy", what's clear is that it's "become more isolated and has lagged further behind technologically", said Liza Ermolenko, an economist at Barclays Capital in London.

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, told Xinhua that relations, currently frosty, are set to get even colder.