Crawdaddy

Lott hasn't explained why he's lobbying for Russian bank embroiled in Ukraine crisis

It's been more than 19 hours since I asked Trent Lott's lobbying firm to explain his relationship with a Russian bank that's on the United States sanction list.

Seems President Barack Obama's administration, and a lot of Americans, object to Russian President Vladmir Putin's aggresion in the Ukraine and Crimea. Obama barred Americans from loaning Gazprombank GPB money. Gazprombank is part of the state-run energy company Gazprom, which is controlled by Putin.

The theory is by inflicting economic pain, Russia can be persuaded to stop incursions into Ukraine. There are rumblings that Russia would like to rename part of that country Novorossiya and eventually absorb it. Sort of like Crimea.

Anne Applebaum reported last week that Alexander Dugin, who Putin listens to, took it a step further. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

The theory being that Russia couldn't hold Ukraine as long as there were Ukrainians living there. Applebaum also noted that a member of the Russian Parliament thinks using nukes on Poland and the Baltic states would show the West who's boss in Europe.

Europe is justifiably nervous and that's why Obama flew to the Baltic country of Estonia today. He told the crowd in Tallinn that Russia's aggression won't go unchecked.

It's a worrisome situation.

Which brings us to Lott. Friday, his firm thought it would be a good idea to cast its lot with the other side. This is the same Lott, who during a presidential campaign, referred to then-candidate now-Secretary of State John Kerry as a socialist because he spoke French.

And he has yet to explain why lobbying in the U.S. for a bank that is so entangled with U.S. foreign policy is a good idea. Lott and his former Senate colleague are listed as the lobbyists on Squire Patton Boggs form filed with Congress on Friday. That story broke on the Center for Public Integrity, which apparently has received no explanation from the lobbyists either. It has since appeared on several national sites, all without comment from the firm.

We don't know how much they are being paid but the bank has shelled out millions for lobbying in the past. That was before it was on the sanctions list. Don't imagine the price has gone down.

Back in March, Lott's fellow Republicans were bashing Obama for not doing more.

 "I think our policy toward Russia under this administration deserves a heavy amount of criticism." Sen. Marco Rubio said on national TV , "I usually shy away from that in moments of crisis, when it's important for the nation to speak with one voice."

One voice. Except for K Street.

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