Story was updated 2/13/2018:
President Donald Trump President Donald Trump could be using Russia's Vladimir Putin as a regional interlocutor on his behalf when speaking with Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas.
Putin is hosting Palestinian President Abbas in Moscow today, and he reportedly told Abbas that Trump conveys "his best wishes" to the Palestinian leader, who has been boycotting the U.S. Administration for two months now, ever since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Putin mentioned the call with Trump at the start of his meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. He said: "Naturally we spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement" and told Abbas: "I would like to convey to you his best wishes."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he had spoken to U.S. President Donald Trump by telephone and discussed efforts to bridge differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Russian news agencies reported.
Russia and other adversaries will continue to engage in cyber warfare to "degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances," the nation's top intelligence official said Tuesday. "Frankly, the United States is under attack," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, adding that every facet of society is being targeted with cyber intrusions.
At the very least, Trump is communicating with an enemy power about delicate U.S. diplomatic matters. The language from Ha'Aretz gives the impression that Trump is using Russia as some type of regional interlocutor. Experts assert that it is naive to assume that the U.S. and Russia have symmetrical global interests.
Russian regional aspirations in a nutshell:
Russia is already dominant in Syria and Lebanon. Now, because of strategic abdication (capitulation?) by the Trump administration, Russia has now made itself essential to peace between Palestine and Israel. This role was formerly served by the United States as recently as 2016.