READ: Sarah Kendzior: Russia Won’t ‘Interfere to Elect Dems in 2018 Because Dems Want Sanctions, NATO & Investigation of Putin’

Well said.

President Donald Trump continues to vacillate between denying any Russian election interference in 2016 and acknowledging it; discrediting U.S. intelligence agencies by refuting their evidence of continued Russian interference then stating Russia poses a legitimate threat in 2018.

Tuesday morning, Russia returned to being a threat. But, the President claimed, only to him.

The President took to Twitter Tuesday morning to reiterate his claim that no President ever has been tougher on Russia. It is a claim he initially made during one of the times he denied any continued Russian interference.

I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”

But journalist Sarah Kendzior, an expert on Russian authoritarian states, refutes the President’s claim. She offers a very different scenario from the one posited by Trump.

In response to a potential 2018 midterms scenario from Jelani Cobb, Kendzior stated,

Then in an almost exact opposite view from the President, Kendzior stated why Russia reached out to the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election and why they won’t be extending a helping hand to Democrats.

“Russia interfered in the 2016 election to get Trump in power for concrete reasons: remove sanctions on Russia, weaken NATO, etc.”

They are not going to interfere to elect Dems in 2018 because Dems want sanctions, NATO, and an investigation of Putin and Russian oligarchs.”

Kendzior speaks Russian and has a Master’s degree in Eurasian Studies and a PhD in anthropology with her focus on former Soviet Union authoritarian states. Her dissertation covered how the the Uzbekistan dictatorship employed the internet to undermine public trust in and manipulate the media.

In 2016, Kendzior began pointing to parallels between the Uzbekistan strategy she studied extensively and then candidate Trump’s Russian business entanglements, xenophobic and racist rhetoric, undermining of trust in mainstream media and admiration for Putin. This was before the world knew for certain that Russia actively engaged the Trump Campaign —and family— in a Trump Tower meeting.

Regarding Trump’s repeated claims of no President being tougher on Russia, history refutes that claim as well.

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