Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, June 10, 2024

Former Trump administration national security officials are blasting the ex-president for interfering in delicate hostage negotiations over Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was imprisoned in Russia last year.



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"Donald Trump has promised that Gershkovich would be released upon his election, which veterans of his own White House say could delay the reporter's freedom and undermine U.S. democracy by encouraging Russia to hold Gershkovich until after the election to aid Trump's campaign.

Russia has accused the journalist of spying, which his family, employer, and President Biden say is false.

In a campaign ad released Tuesday, Trump boasts that if he beats Biden in November Russia will promptly return Gershkovich.

"Evan Gershkovich, the reporter for the Wall Street Journal who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the election, but definitely before I assume office," Trump says, talking directly into the camera and flanked by two American flags. "He will be home. He will be safe."

"Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, will do that for me ' and I don't believe he'll do it for anyone else," Trump adds. "And we will be paying nothing. Biden likes to pay massive numbers. We will be paying nothing."


That statement could signal to Putin that Trump wants to use the imprisoned reporter as a campaign issue.

"Trump's comments killed any negotiations to get (Gershkovich) released until after the election," said Alexander Vindman, the former director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House's National Security Council during the Trump administration.

Putin won't release Gershkovich for free to anyone, including Trump, predicted Vindman, who also served as the political-military affairs officer for Russia for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as an attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Putin will only do it in "quid pro quo" for people he wants freed from prisons in the U.S. or allied countries, Vindman said.

"Trump," Vindman added, "would likely meet Putin's wish list hostage swap demands to deliver on this brag."


'So many things wrong with this'

Fiona Hill, another Russia expert on Trump's National Security Council, said Trump's comments undermine U.S. national security in a number of ways.

"There are so many things wrong with this," said Hill, who said she worked on negotiations with Russia for the release of falsely imprisoned Americans during her time in the Trump White House.

"It's classic braggadocio of him, claiming to have a special relationship with Putin," Hill said. "But it's playing favorites," she added, with the potential release of one detainee, Gershkovich coming at the expense of other Americans unjustly detained in Russia like former Marine Paul Whelan.

Potentially more serious, Hill said, is that Trump's own claims show "that he's looking at this as a kind of a personal favor, rather than an issue related to U.S. national security.

It begs the question of whether he's been told this by Putin somehow behind the scenes? Is Russia having outreach again with a putative candidate? This gets us back to 2016 all over again."

Guys a loser, he shouldn't have got himself captured! - Mafia Don

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2024-06-09 09:43 PM | Reply

@#1 ... "Trump's comments killed any negotiations to get (Gershkovich) released until after the election," said Alexander Vindman, the former director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House's National Security Council during the Trump administration. ...

OK, let me ask a question here ...

Why do many, oh so many, associates and former officials of the administration of fmr Pres Trump seem to want to criticize fmr Pres Trump or volunteer to testify under oath against him before Congress or in a Court of Law?

Under oath. Voluntarily.

It is a simple question.


#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-06-09 10:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Los Lonely Boys - Heaven (2004)

Lyrics excerpt...

Save me from this prison
Lord, help me get away
'Cause only you can save me now from this misery
I've been lost in my own place, and I'm gettin' weary
How far is Heaven?
And I know that I need to change my ways of livin'
How far is Heaven?
Lord, can you tell me?

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-06-09 10:18 PM | Reply

Or maybe...

Eurogliders - Heaven (Must Be There) (1984)


Oooooh ooh, I want to find a better place
Oooooh ooh, I'm searching for a better place
Oooooh ooh, I'm tired of living in the sand
Oooooh ooh, I'm searching for a better land

Heaven must be there
Well, it's just got to be there
I've never, never seen Eden
I don't wanna live in this place

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-06-09 11:14 PM | Reply

Another indication of how far from each other are the news desk and the editorial desk of the Wall Street Journal. One side cheers their orange-faced despot, and the other recognizes him for what he is--as awful as can be, a modern Judas, with bad body odor to boot...

#5 | Posted by catdog at 2024-06-10 09:20 AM | Reply

Orange Smelvis blow-viatews.

#6 | Posted by Wardog at 2024-06-10 11:29 AM | Reply

Why doesn't Biden arrest trump under the Logan act?

#7 | Posted by Yodagirl at 2024-06-10 03:17 PM | Reply


"Why doesn't Biden arrest trump under the Logan act?

Because Trump hasn't actually done any negotiating. He's just grabbing at straws. So far, he's just a big mouth braggard who is trying to convince voters that he'd be a better President than Joe Biden.

As an aside:

I'm sorry the Washington Post stopped counting Trump's prolific lying at 30,000.

#8 | Posted by Twinpac at 2024-06-10 10:20 PM | Reply

Too bad one couldn't grab one of those Times Square boards and keep the trump lies tally running there, right in his face (at least when he's in town.)

#9 | Posted by Yodagirl at 2024-06-11 11:17 AM | Reply

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