President Vladimir TrumPutin was supposed to be proving that he wasn’t in bed with the Russians when he ran out here all willy-nilly to bomb Syria. Remember how, less than a few weeks ago, Donald Trump was on Twitter talking recklessly about Russia? Well, the United States bombed Syria, Russia didn’t do anything and now the president is moonwalking back claims from the United States’ U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley that additional sanctions were going to be imposed on Russia.
Believing that we were really ready to go to war with Russia, Haley announced on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday that the U.S. Treasury Department was ready to formalize more sanctions against Russia.
“You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down,” Haley said. “Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn’t already.”
But according to the Washington Post, Trump never signed off on that and most likely won’t be signing off on that. Several people with access to the walking can of orange Krylon told the Post that the president of the rural flats of apocalyptic Alabama had no plans to sign any new sanctions and was upset that a new sanctions plan had been crafted. Then administration officials noted that the sanctions strategy was “in a holding pattern.”
In a statement Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, said that the administration is “considering additional sanctions on Russia, and a decision will be made in the near future.”
All of this reminds me of the grossly overlooked and underappreciated Can’t Buy Me Love, in which a nerdy student pays a popular cheerleader to pretend to be his girlfriend. At the end of the movie, they are supposed to stage a breakup fight, except the cheerleader has really fallen for the nerd. Trump so desperately wants to sit next to Russia in the cafeteria that the two are willing to risk it all.
While bombing Syria may have been the right thing to do, acting as if we were willing to go to war with Russia seemed like a contrived attempt to throw Americans off the beef stroganoff scent. Conspiracy theorists who believed that Russia secretly approved of the bombing of Syria but were willing to act as if they didn’t just might be right. Russia did the most tough-talking pump-faking in the history of war. They literally didn’t do shit. And now Trump and Russia can go back to holding hands in the mall and sharing a smoothie with one straw, openly.