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Never-ending saga?

Nov 18,2017 - Last updated at Nov 18,2017

The scene in Washington ever since President Donald Trump assumed office looks more and more like a soap opera and serial drama never ceases to take the US and the world at large by surprise.

The latest episode is connected with former Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, both indicted for tax fraud, money laundering and ties to Russian oligarchs.

Both deny charges.

They were indicted by FBI Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller who was appointed by Trump in the first place to probe into the much-talked about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort could face a jail sentence of up to 15 years and Gates faces up to 12 years sentence if convicted.

Rumours are already circulating that they could be pardoned by the president in due course.

Then came the story about former Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, who allegedly admitted lying to the FBI about Russia’s offer to spread “dirt” on Clinton in an effort to reduce her chances of wining the election.

If one is to believe all the stories about the Russian manipulation of the US presidential election in 2016, one gets the impression that the Russians elected Trump and not the American people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have wanted Trump to be the US president.

It might be quite natural and predictable for nations to meddle in the domestic affairs of their adversaries, given the chance.

During his Asian tour, which included attending the APEC summit in Dan Nang, Trump’s flip flopped on allegations about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, which only added more drama to the Washington soap opera.

Trump said, after his sideline meeting with Putin, that he believed Putin’s statement that Russia did not interfere in the election, while the US intelligence community said it had proof about Russia’s meddling.

One now wonders where all this US theatre is going to end.

The outcome of this unfolding political drama is a paralysed and rudderless Washington, which is distressing not only for the US but also for the rest of the international community, which looks to Trump for guidance in foreign policy.

 

From the looks of things, this saga is not about to end anytime soon and the international order will surely suffer more.

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