Adam Schiff’s opening statement reminded me that Ukraine is a problem for the United States today because Russia invaded it during the Obama administration.
In 2012, President Obama told Russia then-President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” in dealing with contentious issues like missile defense after the election. In 2014, the Russians invaded the Crimean peninsula. And then, for two years, the Obama administration refused to provide lethal aid to Ukraine--instead of just military and other aid-- despite that country’s former president, our ally, pleading for American help. As was the case in other venues, Russia ran wild in a way that was diametrically opposed to American interests and the Obama administration dithered.
Today, Democrats want to toss out an American president for a brief delay in military aid to Ukraine under Trump, who is actually providing the Ukrainians with lethal aid -- including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles -- to combat the Russians. I wonder why Democrats never bothered to question Obama’s motivations for failing to meaningfully respond to the Russians in Ukraine for two years (and as Russia was simultaneously meddling in our democracy).
No matter what is said in these hearings today, remember: just like in the Russia election probe, we are largely here today because of a failure to act decisively and confront Russia by former President Barack Obama and his number two, Joe Biden.
Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor, is a former special assistant to President George W. Bush and a former campaign adviser to US Sen. Mitch McConnell. He is a partner at RunSwitch Public Relations in Louisville, Kentucky.