Vladimir Putin on Friday said Russia would not yet react to President Obama’s expelling of diplomats, but instead seems to be taking a “wait and see” attitude. What he’s likely waiting for is Trump. Putin apparently believes Trump will reverse the actions of the US President.
On Thursday, Obama reacted to Russian cyber attacks, before and during the 2016 elections, by expelling 35 diplomats from the Washington DC Embassy and the San Francisco Consulate.
Putin said he would reserve the right to react to Obama’s sanctions at a later date. It’s also possible Trump could reverse Obama’s actions using an executive order, which would no doubt come at a political cost. Most Republicans, while dragging their feet regarding investigations into Russian cyber activity, still believe Russia is more an enemy than a friend to the US.
An executive order reversing Obama’s actions would anger many members of Congress, such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Paul Ryan and others, making it difficult for Trump to push through some of his planned agenda.
How well the Republican controlled House and Senate will work with Trump is unknown, but Trump should not take these journeyman legislators for granted by assuming they will be “yes” men. Putin should be cautious of the US Congress as well.