Donald Trump Campaign Changed GOP Platform On Ukraine, According To Critics
Did Donald Trump change the GOP platform on Ukraine? The answer varies depending on whom you ask. Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is adamant that they had nothing to do with it. However, members of the platform committee are singing a different tune.
Many controversies occurred leading to and during the GOP convention in Ohio. Remember Melania Trump‘s plagiarism; Ted Cruz‘s vote your conscious moment, but only one has the potential to create an international conflict – the Republican Party platform’s new language on policy towards Ukraine.
According to Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas, who was a Cruz supporter, an aide from the Trump campaign showed up with a handwritten note and asked for the modifications. The Trump campaign requested the following changes in the language:
“It went from calling on the U.S. to provide Ukraine “lethal defensive weapons” instead of “appropriate assistance.”
Many Republicans were baffled by the change, and the media started investigating the controversy. Why and who asked for the shift in platform language? Some reports stated that Trump’s campaign chairman, Manafort, who worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade was the one, who influenced his boss to be more pro-Vladimir Putin.
Convincing Trump was not very difficult because he has on many occasions expressed his admiration for Putin. The real estate mogul has called Putin a strong leader, a genius, and recently said this:
“I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now,so that we can go and knock out ISIS together.”
Speaking to Russian media, Putin has said positive things about Trump, but many believe that he is grooming the Republican candidate to cause chaos in America. Talking to Chuck Todd on Meet The Press, Manafort denied the claims. Here is the exchange:
CHUCK TODD: And before I let you go, there’s been some controversy about something in the Republican Party platform that essentially changed the Republican Party’s views when it comes to Ukraine. How much influence did you have in changing that language, sir?
PAUL MANAFORT: I had none. In fact, I didn’t even hear of it until after our convention was over.
CHUCK TODD: Where did it comes from then? Because everybody on the platform committee had said it came from the Trump campaign. If not you, who?
PAUL MANAFORT: It absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign. And I don’t know who everybody is, but I guarantee you it was nobody that was on the platform committee–
CHUCK TODD: So nobody from the Trump campaign wanted that change in the platform?
PAUL MANAFORT: No one, zero.
However, Denman is sticking to her story. She said:
“…. tried to insert language calling for the U.S. to provide lethal defensive weapons to the Ukrainian government, which is fighting a separatist insurrection backed by Russia. I had no idea I was going into a fire fight. When I presented my proposal during a platform subcommittee meeting last month, two gentleman who were part of the Trump campaign, came over, looked at the language, and asked that it be set aside for further review.
After further discussion the pair had to make some calls and clear it.”
Another GOP delegate on the platform committee, Rachel Hoff, who is a national security analyst with the American Action Forum, said the final platform language shows that Trump is out of touch with his own political party. Hoff shared:
“This puts Trump out of step certainly with Republican leadership but I would also say mainstream conservative foreign policy or national security opinion.”
What do you think of Trump’s campaign position on Ukraine?