Donald Trump’s own Secretary of Defense, former General James Mattis, has confirmed that he believes the Russian state interfered in the American election. At the NATO headquarters in Brussels he said,
“There is very little doubt that they have either interfered or attempted to interfere in a number of elections in democracies. .. NATO has always stood for military strength and protection of democracies and the freedoms we intend to pass on to our children.”
It is widely believed that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election was intended to ensure Trump’s victory over rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
Mattis also emphasized America’s commitment to NATO, an organization originally formed in the Cold War to counter Soviet influence. While Trump has called NATO obsolete and surrounded himself with aides who keep in touch with Russian operatives, Mattis understands the importance of NATO.
“The commitment to Article Five [which states the NATO principle of collective defense] remains rock solid. The message that I brought here about everyone carrying their fair share of burden, of sacrifice to maintain the best defense in the world was very well received.”
Russia is still a hostile state and is threatening countries in eastern Europe, including NATO members along the Baltic Sea. Despite Trump’s constant efforts to suck up to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Mattis remains clearheaded and knows that acquiescing to Russian aggression is a terrible idea.
At least we have one person in the White House who has not fallen under Putin’s influence and actually understands America’s security situation in the global order. If only he could convince the president…