Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, in his last public remarks as President Trump’s national security adviser, strongly denounced Russia for its increased aggression around the world, and declared: “We have failed to impose sufficient costs.”
His comments come a little more than a week after he was ousted by Trump, who is replacing him with former U.N. ambassador and conservative firebrand John Bolton.
And they came hours after Trump, in a White House press conference with Baltic state leaders, stated “nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have.”
Despite a series of recent actions taken by the Trump administration against Russia over its alleged role in poisoning a former Russian spy in Britain, interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and global cyberattacks, Trump has been criticized by Russia policy experts and Democrats for refraining from forcefully condemning Moscow for such actions.
His outgoing national security adviser had no such qualms.
“Russia,” McMaster said, “has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies and the foundations of international peace and stability,” speaking Tuesday evening at the Atlantic Council.
“We are now engaged in a fundamental contest between our free and open societies and closed and repressive systems,” he said, alluding to Russia, among other countries. “Revisionist and repressive powers are attempting to undermine our values, our institutions and way of life.”
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima and John Hudson