At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the GOP platform is unexpectedly altered to not support arming Ukraine against Russian forces.
President Barack Obama tip-toed around the idea of providing weapons to Ukraine to protect the country from Russian forces, but Republicans in Congress were in favor of arming Ukraine — until Donald Trump became the nominee.
After Trump surrogates reportedly intervened, the final passage supports “providing appropriate assistance” to Ukraine, but doesn’t mention providing arms to the government in Kiev.
Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, said the change was “most unusual.”
“Virtually every Republican in Congress voted to provide defensive arms to Ukraine and they still support it,” said Black, now chairman of Prime Policy Group, a government relations firm.The Los Angeles Times
Paul Manafort is believed to be responsible for the platform shift. Manafort spent most of 2009 working on behalf of Vladimir Putin’s candidate for the Ukraine presidency, Viktor Yanukovich, who won the election.
“What I kept thinking about was how Manafort and his team were supposed to be the Reagan guys, Reagan who stood up to the Soviet Union,” Link said in a telephone interview. “And now here they were working for Putin’s candidate for Ukraine.”Jeff Link, Democratic strategist
Photo: Gage Skidmore