Local Political Reaction as Tensions with Russia Escalate

Trump: US/Russia Relations Worse than During Cold War

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Washington, DC (WBEN) - Political pundits have pointed to the response to Syria's alleged chemical weapons attack as a moment that would define the Trump Presidency. 

Wednesday morning, the President responded on Twitter.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming," President Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War."

The direct threat of a military strike ran opposite of what Trump tweeted about Syria in 2013, but seemed to gain immediate support amongst some Washington Republicans. 

"Trump's putting them on notice," Congressman Chris Collins told WBEN. "We're going to take action. If Russia does attempt to shoot down our missiles, well that tells you everything you need to know, that Russia... it would be their way at thumbing their nose at the entire world."

"There needs to be a response," Collins said. "We would prefer Assad not be in power, but because of Russia and Iran he is."

That kind of talk from the President and his supporters highlighted how strained Russian/US relations are, but are they truly worse than they have ever been like Trump said?

"I think that's an overstatement," said Republican political strategist Carl Calabrese. "I grew up during the Cold War. I can still remember drills in grammar school. People were building fallout shelters and bomb shelters... it's tense (right now) no question about that, but I don't think we're anywhere near (Cold War tensions)."

The AP reported Wednesday morning that the Russian military will deploy troops to Syrian town of Douma that was the site of purported chemical attack.

 

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