The Atlantic

Trump’s Performance With Putin Creates a Career Dilemma for His Aides

The president’s deferential posture toward Russia highlights his staffers’ lack of influence.
Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

President Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday has set off a bigger-than-usual backlash, provoking criticism from both the right and the left. It has also presented a quandary for those who work in the Trump administration, who seem unable to guide or influence the president in any real way when it comes to Russia. In the hours afterward, critics have asked a similar question: Given the president’s behavior, should the officials working for him stay, or should they go?

The criticism has centered on Trump siding with Russia over

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