01:18 GMT21 September 2020
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    CNN has reported that the White House was holding intense internal discussions to enable President Trump to pursue his intention of negotiating a major nuclear deal with Russia and China. Moscow has vowed to study all US ideas on a new nuclear agreement if and when it receives specific proposals, while Beijing has yet to comment on the report.

    Sputnik has discussed the reported plan with Professor David Woodard, Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for Republican congressmen.

    Sputnik: CNN has reported on President Trump allegedely mulling a nuclear deal with Russia and China. In your view, why are we seeing this report now?

    David Woodard: Donald Trump is a pragmatist who is willing to take advantage of an opportunity. He has a conservative base which is comfortable with "Cold War" rhetoric and policies. However, much like Ronald Reagan, he is willing to abandon those positions to take advantage of any situation that might help him. Running in 2020 as someone willing to "stand up to the Russians", while at the same time able to "negotiate" with them is a plus in politics. Many Americans admire a president who is unpredictable.

    READ MORE: Trump Eyes Major Nuclear Deal With Russia, China — Reports

    Sputnik: Who may benefit from such a speculation now, in the midst of the Mueller Report turmoil?

    David Woodard: The "Mueller turmoil" is a Democratically-induced windstorm, it poses no threat to Trump's leadership. There is no "smoking gun" for Democrats to take to voters. What helps the president is that he is willing to keep the opposition off-balance. Compare Trump with Joe Biden, whose reputation is one of agreeing with your adversaries and not making waves. That Obama policy is not something Trump wants to have associated with his time in office. Running as someone who keeps Russia and China guessing is a positive in American politics if your opponent (Biden) is predictable.

    Sputnik: How likely is it that the president is actually considering such a deal?

    David Woodard: Nothing about Trump is predictable. He will consider anything, and I think he would jump at the opportunity to sign a foreign policy deal if one were sincerely presented to him. Businessmen are always looking for a deal, an opportunity. Americans like that about their leaders.  Remember that Trump will also "walk away" from a policy if he thinks it is not what it appears. 

    READ MORE: German FM Calls for Pressing China Into Dialogue on Nuclear Disarmament

    Sputnik: Taking into account the current public perception of China and Russia in the US, how can such a report impact the president's image in light of the upcoming election?

    David Woodard: Voters have short memories, and no one will remember this in 2020 unless something catastrophic happens. That is highly unlikely.  I think Trump knows that, he's ready to deal if he can; but he doesn't have to deal. As long as he appears opposite Joe Biden — and that isn't much of a challenge — then, I think the president is fine. I haven't mentioned Bernie Sanders, if he is the Democratic nominee, then every voter will have to consider whether they want a socialist dealing for the communist nations in negotiations. 

    The views and opinions expressed in his article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    nuclear deal, Donald Trump, China, United States, Russia
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