For 4 years, Donald Trump refused to respond to provocative actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Trump seemed to do nothing but praise the Russian leader.
Joe Biden, however, will be taking a much different tack with Putin. Biden has famously called the Russian President a killer and told him that, “he has no soul.”
And this week, the US President announced that he would be taking action against Russia for it’s Solar Winds hack on American federal agencies. When announcing the sanctions, Biden said, “I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so. Now is the time to de-escalate.”
Not surprisingly, Russia will be responding to the sanctions by banning some Americans from entering the country. This list includes Attorney General Merrick Garland, former Trump adviser John Bolton, Biden adviser Susan Rice and FBI head Christopher Wray.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement, “We will respond to this measure in a tit-for-tat manner. We will ask ten US diplomats in Russia to leave the country.”
Garland has said little about the US/Russia relationship. When asked during his confirmation hearing if he would remove Trump loyalist John Durham from the investigation into the 2016 election, he said, “I don’t have any reason from what I know now, which is really very little, to make any determination on that ground. But I don’t have any reason to think that he should not remain in place.”
When Bolton was asked about Putin last summer, he was more critical of Donald Trump than the Russian leader. “I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle,” he said. “I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that he’s not faced with a serious adversary here. I don’t think he’s worried about Donald Trump.”