MSNBC's Richard Engel: What Pence Said About Russia During VP Debate “Was Radically Different” From Trump's Position

Engel: “I'm Wondering If This Is A Pivot From The Campaign”Or “Just Pence Elaborating His Own Policy” 

From MSNBC's October 4 post-vice presidential debate coverage: 

Video file

RACHEL MADDOW (HOST): So Pence was saying if Russia keeps doing the wrong thing with attacking civilian targets in Aleppo then we need to respond militarily by bombing Syrian military targets. I mean, is he talking -- is he conflating Russia and Syria in terms of their military action? Is he raising the prospect of U.S. military action against the Russian military? Some people reacted to that and I think my initial reaction to that was that he was almost threatening a U.S.-Russia war. 

RICHARD ENGEL: I think he was actually threatening to stand up to Russia, to bomb the Assad regime, which is an ally of Russia. Russia just moved missile defense systems in. So doing the kind of actions that Pence was suggesting would certainly lead to a military escalation. The question is, was he talking about the campaign's policy? Is this the Pence policy on Russia? Because it was radically different from what we've heard from Donald Trump. And I'm wondering if this is a pivot from the campaign. Did the Trump campaign feel that they've been too soft on Putin? They've been seen as being too cozy with the Russians. There's been a lot of speculation about Trump's business ties to Russian oligarchs, and are they shady in any way that would compromise him as a candidate? So was this just Pence elaborating his own policy? A very hard line against Russia, even threatening potential military confrontation, or was this an attempt by the whole Trump machine to align itself more in a confrontational position against Russia? 


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