In an op-ed published on Monday, former US president Donald Trump argued that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election damaged relations with Moscow and ultimately led to the Ukraine conflict. Trump criticized the congressional investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia, claiming that it was the “most atrocious weaponization” of the US government in history. The special counsel’s report by John Durham, released in May, concluded that the FBI should not have initiated a probe into Trump’s ties with Russia as it was based on biased sources.
Trump alleged that a group of unelected senior US officials, in collaboration with Hillary Clinton, sought to prevent his election in 2016 and undermine his term in office. He argued that their efforts to disrupt his presidency occurred at a crucial moment when the US should have been reducing tensions with Russia. Instead, Trump claimed that the investigation into Russian interference fueled mass hysteria and pushed Russia into closer alignment with China.
The former president expressed his disappointment that the US did not have a better relationship with Russia, which he had been working to improve. He lamented that the situation has now devolved into a proxy war with Russia, with Ukraine bearing the brunt of the devastation. Trump highlighted the significant loss of life and warned that the conflict could escalate to World War III.
The US authorities had accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election to undermine Clinton and support Trump, but Moscow vehemently denied these allegations. Trump and his campaign were also investigated for potential collusion with Russia, but no evidence of conspiracy or coordination was found.
Meanwhile, as Trump campaigns for re-election in 2024, he has repeatedly stated that he could end hostilities in Ukraine within 24 hours if he becomes president again. He has criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for its handling of the conflict, particularly noting that the US is providing significant military equipment to Ukraine while facing munitions shortages itself.
Overall, Trump’s op-ed argues that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election damaged US-Russian relations and contributed to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. He criticizes the actions of senior US officials and suggests that the investigation was politically motivated. Trump also emphasizes his commitment to improving relations with Russia and his belief that he could quickly resolve the conflict in Ukraine if given the opportunity to serve as president again.