Rep. Lee Zeldin: Putin ‘Outsmarting’ Obama, Thinking Ahead
Russian President Vladimir Putin was “outsmarting” President Barack Obama — thinking ahead — by not expelling American diplomats in response to the executive orders on hacking by the Kremlin, Rep. Lee Zeldin said Friday. “He’s been allowed to take the high road, be magnanimous,” the New York Republican told Kate Baldwin on CNN.
“It is like a complicated inside baseball game with Putin, with his messaging, using Twitter and communicating with the rest of the world.
“If you look at the realignment in the Middle East, where Syria is, there is a truce being negotiated with Russia and Turkey,” Zeldin explained. “The United States isn’t even involved.
Zeldin, 36, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, returned this week from visiting American troops in Afghanistan. He is in his second congressional term.
“With a president-elect coming in just a few weeks, I want more of a confidence that — a year ago, we could have been negotiating a truce” in Syria, he said. “Couldn’t even bring the Russians to the table.
“Now, it is impossible to negotiate a truce without having Russia at the table.
“We need to start thinking literally on so many fronts all across the map — six, 10, 15 steps ahead,” Zeldin told Baldwin. “That is the way Putin is thinking towards us.
“He’s gaining an edge — and he’s doing that while we’re just taking it one step at a time.”