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Monday, 17 July 2017 13:46

Putin wants his US mansions back. Trump needs to say no.

Written by  Tom Rogan

Last December, in retaliation for Russia's hacking campaign against the 2016 Presidential election, former President Barack Obama seized two Russian diplomatic mansions.

One is in New York, and the other is in Maryland.

On Monday, State Department and Russian foreign ministry officials are meeting to discuss the status of these mansions. But it's a controversial topic. Russia is demanding the mansions be returned, but the U.S. believes they are being used for espionage operations. The U.S. intelligence community is firmly opposed to allowing the Russians back in.

Russia knows this, so it is bringing out the fake guns of moral indignation. Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has described the seizure as a "daylight robbery." Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, doubled down by asserting, "We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking."

The Trump administration should ignore the Russians' pleas.

After all, whatever its claims of moral hardship, the Russian government knows the truth. For a start, they know that the seizure of the mansions was a very limited, weak response to a major assault on American democracy. If anything, the Russians likely celebrated when the compounds were first seized.

Read more at The Washington Examiner

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