Trump will be extremely tough with Russia
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in his news briefing Tuesday that President Donald Trump will be extremely tough with Russia. He repeated Trump’s past call for Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine and withdraw from eastern Ukraine, but did not rule out “getting along” with President Putin on other matters. DEBKAfile: These comments indicate a cooling of Trump’s tone towards Moscow, which may have partly motivated him to ask for the resignation of national security adviser Mike Flynn, who was a senior architect of the strategy of close US-Russian cooperation. Spicer stressed that nothing Flynn did in calling the Russian ambassador before the president’s inauguration was a violation of the law. He was asked to quit as a matter of eroding trust. The president did not instruct Flynn to discuss sanctions in that phone call on which he requested and received a transcript from the FBI. But the president is very concerned by intelligence leaks, he added.