DENVER – Professor David Goldfischer of the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies doesn’t mince words when it comes to what he thinks of the relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin after their summit in Helsinki.
“I think it was clear before, but now dramatically so, that they are essentially in complete alignment regarding Europe, regarding the assault on liberal democracy that’s now taking place,” he told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged .
Goldfischer says it’s been clear since even before the Cold War that the U.S. and Russia need to have an improved relationship, but he says questions about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election mean extra scrutiny should be given to developments between the two leaders.
“We’re in a unique circumstance right now because Russia attacked the United States in order to undermine the election of the president and did so for the benefit of Donald Trump,” Goldfischer said. “Without confronting that, without dealing with that, it’s impossible to imagine America as we know it having a cooperative relationship with Russia.”
While President Trump has clarified what he meant, Goldfischer says the president’s appearance to believe President Putin’s denial of Russian involvement in the 2016 elections over his nation’s own intelligence agencies makes him wonder what the future holds.
“The November elections are coming up and it’s not clear that Trump is actively trying to lead the United States in defending the country to make sure these elections are free and fair,” he said. “Without some sort of deterrent threat that’s loud and clear that will prevent Putin from trying to repeat what he did in the 2016 elections we’re in a shaky situation right now.”
Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7 and noon on K3-KCDO.