Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. What's Trump's side of the deal?
1. Trump repudiates NATO. Trump almost did last week in Europe by not reaffirming Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all.
2. Trump antagonizes Europe, especially Angela Merkel, the strongest leader in the West other than Trump. Trump has almost delivered on this, too. She now says Europe can no longer depend on America.
3. Trump rejects the Paris accord on the environment, thereby angering other American allies around the world and causing a wave of anti-Americanism. Seems like Trump is about to deliver on this one, too.
4. Trump embarks on a new era of protectionism – or at least anti-trade rhetoric – thereby threatening the West's economic interdependence. He's on the way to delivering on this one.
5. Trump ends the economic sanctions on Russia imposed after the annexation of Crimea and for backing separatists in eastern Ukraine.No delivery as yet, but you understand why. He's got to deal with all this suspicion over the deal he made with you to win him the presidency. Once that dies down, he'll end the sanctions.
And what was your side of the deal? Not only would you help win him the presidency, but you'd shut up about it so he wouldn't be impeached and convicted of treason.
In other words, he's still in the process of delivering on his side of the deal, as are you. That's the art of the deal.
Did I get the terms correct, Vladimir?