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Trump administration confirms desire to work with Russian military
For months, Trump and his officials have promoted the idea that Russia is a natural ally in the fight against Islamic terror. This week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that military cooperation with Russia could be possible. “I think if there’s a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it’s Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we’ll take it.” But first Congress would have to remove a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that prohibits most forms of military cooperation with Russia. That amendment to the NDAA was put into place in 2013 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and Congress is likely to remain in staunch opposition of cart blanche military cooperation. Because of its openness, the Trump administration runs the risk of being tied in knots should Russia continue their military activities in Ukraine, which could invite further sanctions being approved by Congress.
This report will be filed in the 27 January EXSUM.