Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius said the U.S. should be working with Russia but it can't because President Trump's election has made that move too "toxic."
In a piece published Tuesday night, Ignatius said that the U.S. is currently ignoring Russia's influence on the world and that it would be better to engage the Kremlin.
"Just because Putin proposes renewed discussions with the United States, that doesn’t mean it is a bad idea," he said. "Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan and India all have serious dialogue with Russia about key foreign-policy issues, but the United States does not. That’s a mistake, especially now."
He added later, "Paradoxically, President Trump’s election has made dialogue with Russia politically toxic, and arms control has all but disappeared from the U.S. agenda. ... The U.S. military will counter Putin’s death-star weapons, but in the meantime, American diplomacy needs to open better channels. Ignoring Russia may be good politics, but it is bad policy."
Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump was repeatedly criticized by Democrats and many in the media for speaking favorably of Russian President Vladimir Putin and urging cooperation between Russia and the U.S.
Trump last summer met with Putin and afterward said they discussed cybersecurity, though U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia was involved in the hacking of emails from Democratic National Committee officials, as well as emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta in 2016.
Trump was widely mocked for suggesting the U.S. work with Russia on cybersecurity, including by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who said it was "akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'"
The U.S. subsequently withdrew from those discussions, which Ignatius said in his column was also a mistake.