Peters: Trump Must Denounce Putin, Disavow Idea of a 'Lunatic Alliance' With Russia
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) said President Donald Trump is not doing anything about Russian provocations, displaying the same inaction as his predecessor.
Peters, a Fox News strategic analyst, reacted on "America's Newsroom" to the dramatic new video of a Russian fighter jet again buzzing a U.S. Navy vessel in the Black Sea.
He said the U.S. military should not respond to such an incident with force, but right now Vladimir Putin believes he can do whatever he wants "short of shooting" at U.S. forces.
Peters said Putin is pushing for a "greater recognized sphere of influence for Russia" and wants to push the U.S. out so that Moscow has "uncontested dominance."
He said in Obama's case, he didn't react because of "sheer cowardice" in the face of Putin's provocations.
"For President Trump, I think you have to look deeper. He can't get over his adulation of Vladimir Putin. He just will not challenge Russia on anything," said Peters, calling for sanctions against Russia to be intensified and for aggressive military moves without actually attacking Russian forces.
"The Russians need to know we're there and we're not leaving," said Peters.
Asked about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contact last year with the Russian ambassador, Peters emphasized that there are "patterns" of Trump aides and advisers having ties to Russia and that it isn't just a "Democratic conspiracy" at this point.
"We now know there were dozens of meetings between Trump campaign officials and advisers and various Russians. That is not business as usual," said Peters, adding that the stories about Russia are not going to go away anytime soon.
Peters called on Trump to make a forceful speech in which he denounces Putin and dismisses the notion of a "lunatic alliance" with the Kremlin. The president must also release his tax returns to prove the Russians have no "financial leverage" over him, he argued.
"Look, this scandal could bring down the administration, if [they] don't get ahead of it," he concluded.
Watch his analysis above.