TIT FOR TAT?
White House Official Floated Withdrawing U.S. Forces to Please Putin
target=”_blank”A member of Trump’s National Security Council staff had a radical notion: to pare back American troops in Europe as a way to curry favor with the Kremlin.
01.09.18 7:00 PM ET
A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump presidency, according to two former administration officials.
While the proposal was ultimately not adopted, it is the first known case of senior aides to Donald Trump seeking to reposition U.S. military forces to please Putin—something that smelled, to a colleague, like a return on Russia’s election-time investment in President Trump. The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
The official who offered the proposal, a deputy assistant to Trump for strategic planning, mused in February 2017 about withdrawing U.S. troops close to Russian borders as part of a strategy proposal to “refram[e] our interests within the context of a new relationship with Russia,” the former official told The Daily Beast, who heard this directly from the official, Kevin Harrington.