Chris Cuomo asserted Tuesday that Donald Trump’s claim that he has been “much tougher on Russia” than Barack Obama is “demonstrably false,” a claim which itself is wrong.
CNN had invited Justin Vaughn, who conducted the recent “presidential greatness” poll, to come on and explain his methodology and how Trump had placed dead last.
“Some of the factors that have historically gone into explaining why some presidents are better than others, greater than others are the — whether or not they won a war while they were in office, how the economy performed while they were in office, whether they had scandals that cursed their administrations while they were in office, how popular they were, how productive they were,” he explained. “A lot of those factors all sort of worked together to determine the historical memory of a president.”
“It’s interesting, the president just tweeted a few minutes ago, ‘I’ve been much tougher on Russia than Obama. Just look at the facts. Total fake news.'” Cuomo offered. “Do you think he’s calling his statement about the fact that he’s tougher than Obama on Russia, ‘Fake news?'”
“I wonder if this is the dynamic that played into the selectivity by your experts,” he continued. “This is demonstrably false.”
Cuomo’s claim that Trump’s statement was 100 percent, hands-down phony bologna isn’t exactly accurate by Vaughn’s own standards, especially when considering how Trump’s April 2017 strike on a Syrian airfield effectively drew a line in the sand for Russia.
In case your memory is foggy, Trump attacked an airfield controlled by the Syrian government with 59 tomahawk missiles in response to a sarin gas attack believed to have been carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained that the “proportional response to Assad’s heinous act” was also meant to serve as a warning to Moscow.
The State Department accused Russia of not upholding its end of a 2013 agreement to secure and destroy chemical weapons held by the Syrian government and lending direct support to a dictator like Assad.
“Russia should ask themselves, ‘What are we doing here?'” Tillerson said after the strike. “Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?”
Fast forward to December 2017, and Trump again one-upped his predecessor by green-lighting the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine.
Back in 2014, Congress had passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, but the Obama administration never exercised the option to actively arm Kiev.
Following Trump’s approval, Sen. Bob Corker said the move showed an avowed commitment to the people of Ukraine “in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.”