In a week dominated by legal battles opposing his order banning Moslems from seven Middle Eastern countries, President #Donald Trump once more opened the door to debate about his attitudes towards Russia and particularly his open admiration for President Vladimir Putin. His statements not only caused discomfort for Republican politicians, but were a signal of alarm for America’s long term allies.

Politics and deaths

In an interview with Bill Reilly on Fox News Donald Trump was asked if he admired the Russian President Donald Trump replied that he wanted to see a better relationship with Russia.

In a follow up question O’Reilly asked whether or not Putin was a “killer” and the American President replied at America was just as bad and had killers of its own.

The issue of the deaths of Russian opposition politicians, dissidents and journalists both in Russia and abroad has been a worry for international diplomacy for many years and this only fueled the reactions to President Trump’s replies.

Naturally and inevitably these comments drew criticism from Democratic politicians and much of the Press, but they caused even more discomfort for Republicans. When asked on NBC Vice President Mike Pence dodged around the issue and other politicians such as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Mark Rubio were open in distancing themselves from the President’s answers.

In an unusual development, the Russian government has demanded an apology from Bill O’Reilly and Fox News in regards to the use of the word “killer” in reference to Putin. There has as yet been no reaction to the demand from the News channel.

Business and Allies

This development has also reminded the public of the allegations of Russian interference in Trump’s victorious presidential campaign which are still under investigation by the intelligence community and which caused much controversy in the aftermath from the election.

The allegations also raise doubts about the levels of international debt by President Trump’s businesses which were partially addressed during the President’s first press conference. The solutions presented at the press conference were then criticized by ethics experts from both sides of politics as being inadequate and inappropriate for the situation.

Inevitably President Trump’s comments also drew the attention of the international press and America’s traditional allies around the world. While the American President may state his intention of wanting a better working relationship with Russia justifying his stance in the interview with the need for cooperation to fight Moslem terrorism, European countries in particular are much more worried about Russia intentions on a number of fronts and particularly of reports of increased Russian activities in the troubled Ukraine region that led to international sanctions placed on Russia led by the Obama administration.

Issues to be addresses

In the light of the first two stormy weeks of the Trump Presidency the interview only heightened the perception of an Administration that entered the White House with no solid plan for carrying out the announcements made during the Presidential campaign.

The reactions to the Executive at home and abroad to the subsequent executive orders only added to these doubts.

In the case of the repeal of Obamacare, yesterday’s announcement that a “wonderful” replacement as defined Donald Trump will become operable in 2018 was a partial reply to the fears of many citizens that they would be left without health care and which in turn led to pressure on Republican legislators around the country.

With his statements on Russia and Vladimir Putin in the interview President Trump made his difficult week even more arduous and focused attention on matters that had been partially forgotten in the reactions to the Moslem ban order. Yet the only true reply is to finally address the issues that have haunted him since he announced his run for the Presidency and to lay to rest the doubts and controversies.