It almost seems like an eternity in today’s frenetic media environment, but back in June there was one point where the media was obsessing over Russian bounties in Afghanistan.
However, after it was discovered by intelligence officials and generals that these claims were baseless, several media outlets had to retract this story.
Similar to the “Russiagate” hysteria, “bounty gate”, where Trump was accused of ignoring Russians allegedly paying the Taliban to kill American troops, eventually died down.
Well, until recently.
ZeroHedge reported that the State Department and the Pentagon have used the bounty allegations as leverage while engaging in diplomacy with the Russians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a stern warning that “there will be an enormous price to pay” if the Kremlin actually paid Afghan fighters to kill Americans or other allied forces in the region.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe on August 12, Pompeo went public about the warning.
“That’s what I shared with Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov,” Pompeo stated. “I know our military has talked to their senior leaders as well. We won’t brook that; we won’t tolerate that.”
Russia has denied these allegations, which would have otherwise heightened tensions between the two countries.
In the same interview, Pompeo stated, “We will do everything we need to do to protect and defend every American soldier and, for that matter, every soldier from the Czech Republic or any other country that’s part of the Resolute Support Mission to make sure that they’re safe.”
This is the first time that any U.S. diplomat has brought up the Russian bounty allegations with Russian officials.
It remains to be seen if Pompeo is using this story as leverage against the Russians or if he’s genuinely working to undermine Trump from within based on the fact that Trump views this story as a “hoax.”
If it’s the latter case, this goes to show that the Russian hostility is a bipartisan trend that is not conducive to any form of positive statecraft.
In a time when China has aspirations to become a global hegemon, it would be great for the U.S. to use Russia as a check against it.
Unfortunately, antics like these will likely push Russia into China’s geopolitical orbit and further solidify a rival axis that could prove hostile to U.S. interests.
Flashback: Ann Coulter Warns Steve Bannon about Donald Trump’s Hires During 2016
Coulter tells it like it is.
Earlier this week, former White House adviser Steve Bannon reached out to President Donald Trump, in an apparent move to reconcile with the president. Bannon was one of the more renowned advisors in the Trump administration who received a lot of attention for his unconventional views. The former White House adviser is likely looking for Trump to pardon him for several federal criminal charges that he is currently facing.
Bannon was one of the strongest contrarian voices on the right who questioned traditional conservative dogma on free trade and immigration. His rise to prominence represented a raw, populist anger that was building within the Republican Party base. Bannon ended up leaving the Trump administration after the infamous Charlottesville rally. This left a massive void for populist voices within the Trump brain trust, which was never adequately filled with populist figures.
Most of the strong populist voices during the Trump era came from the outside. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has been one of the leading figures trying to steer populist discourse in America.Although a harsh critic, Coulter did her best to hold President Trump accountable and watch his every move, especially personnel decisions that did not align with his America first vision. To the average pro-Trump individual, Coulter’s criticism may come off as abrasive, but it was and still is necessary to have a viable nationalist movement.
As a reminder to her followers about how she knew that there were subversive elements in the Trump administration who wanted to gut the president’s America First agenda and pursue more traditional Republican policies, she tweeted about email correspondence she had with Bannon dating back to December 2, 2016. In light of the rapprochement between Bannon and Trump, Coulter called attention to how she warned the former White House adviser about some of the latter’s questionable staffing decisions during the early stages of his presidency.
Coulter tweeted, “No, actually, I knew Trump was betraying us pretty early on – and that it would cost him re-election. My December 2, 2016 email to Steve Bannon:”
No, actually, I knew Trump was betraying us pretty early on – and that it would cost him re-election.
My December 2, 2016 email to Steve Bannon: pic.twitter.com/38hGPNUqqN
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 14, 2021
In an email sent on December 2, 2016 with a subject line titled “ghost of christmas future”, Coulter warned then-White House adviser Bannon about some of Trump’s hiring decisions.
She first noted that “the fact that Trump is even CONSIDERING rep. Mccaul (rubio in the house) for homeland — and is NOT considering kobach— tells me we’re not getting any major deportations, no removal of refugees, no e-verify, no end to end anchor babies… and trump will be dead.
also, “mad dog” isn’t going to build a wall.”
She was referring to Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, a known mass migration booster and a potential nominee for the head of the Department of Homeland Security. United States Marine Corps General James Matthis would be Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, who ended up turning out to be a Deep State hack. On the other hand, Kris Kobach is a nationally recognized immigration hawk, who gained fame for implementing some of the stiffest voter ID standards in the nation during his time as Secretary of State.
The Trump administration was successful in implementing several administrative changes that limited immigration and also did not get involved in any nation-building engagements like previous administrations.
Nevertheless, Coulter’s incisive suggestions still have use for future Republican administrations. The new GOP should follow Coulter’s pro-migration restriction suggestions if it wants to not only remain politically relevant, but also protect the integrity of America’s political system.
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