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    'Trump's Administration is Still Getting Its Act Together' – Professor

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    In recent weeks there has been an ongoing, dramatic and sustained deterioration of political and economic relations between the US and Russia. Sputnik spoke to Jonathan Adelman, a professor with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, about the tense relationship between Moscow and Washington.

    Sputnik: We've seen a rapid deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States recently relating to the Skripal case, and also the recent events with the missile attacks in Syria, now with what that in mind, and the ongoing geopolitical environment that's circumnavigating the world at the moment, are you surprised with the reversal of the decision not to initiate further sanctions from the US on Monday after Nikki Haley had communicated they would be forthcoming?

    Jonathan Adelman: I wasn't really surprised; this administration, as we say in the United States, is still getting its act together, and the reason for that, there are many reasons, but the biggest reason I think has to do with Donald Trump himself. He has no political background whatsoever, he was a talk-show host on television, he's a famous businessman, but it's taking him a long time to get his act together, and Nikki Haley has been operating semi-autonomously, and he likes her a lot, but in this case I think he thought she was going too far with already a difficult relationship with Moscow.

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    Sputnik: One of his promises when he came to power was that he was going to have closer ties with President Putin, that's not happened, he's actually gone on record to say he's been one of the hardest presidents in terms of the pressure he's put to bear on Russia. How much does this show the global world that his administration and his presidency is full of contradictions? This is causing grave deterioration of global confidence because of this incoherence — what's your take on the first 12-14 months of his administration?

    Jonathan Adelman: He's been very slow getting started, he's got the record for the greatest number of people in his administration who were fired and that's 30-40 percent, so he's had a hard time getting going because he comes from a very different world. He also comes from a very rich world, he's worth somewhere between $4-10 billion, so he's very used to when he says do it they do it, and the world of politics these days is incredibly complex, not just between the United States and Russia, but also Americans are paying a lot of attention now to Iran because on May 12 there's going to be a decision whether to continue or not the treaty that was reached under Barack Obama, and how to deal with Turkey, which is been a long time ally of the United States, but now has not been; there's a lot of complexity here, and the other problem is the State Department, the Foreign Service, they're not happy with him on the whole.

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    Russia has a superb Foreign Ministry, I've been there on several occasions, I've met Sergei Lavrov, and we don't have a Sergei Lavrov in the United States, we have a broad number of people but we lack the coherence and the depth of knowledge that the Russian Foreign Ministry has, that I saw, and it was impressive, but the United States keeps changing its leadership and so the result is I think it does show, there's not necessarily grave deterioration of global confidence, because there are also some states, for example, France and England that came along with the president; so I think it's also that the world is not as coherent as it was during and after World War II, and the United States is having a very hard time for reason number three, which is the issue of whether Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians to win the recent election, and so there's just a lot of things out there that are not normal and usual, but it does lead to basically a conclusion you've come to that there is a problem or  deterioration of global confidence because the administration does not have its act together and it's sort of getting a little better but it's got a long way to go.

    For more information listen to this edition of Weekend Special with Jonathan Adelman.

    The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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