Is Russia testing Trump? The country has secretly deployed a new cruise missile, The New York Times reported Tuesday, just a day after President Trump's national security adviser resigned. After being in the testing phase for years, the Russian missile is now apparently being designated an operational system.
Back in 2014, the Obama administration warned Russia that the missile's existence was a violation of a 1987 treaty that prohibits both the U.S. and Russia from having "intermediate-range missiles based on land." A review by the U.S. State Department determined in July 2014 that Russia's missile testing was indeed in violation of the treaty, which was integral to ending the Cold War. The State Department reminded Russia of its findings again in 2015, prompting Russia to accuse Washington of "megaphone diplomacy."
CNBC notes Russia's most recent apparent violation marks a "new foreign policy test for President Trump," who has vowed to improve U.S.-Russia relations. Even more challenging, The New York Times points out, the moment comes as Trump searches for a replacement national security adviser and "is struggling to fill key policy positions" at both the State Department and the Pentagon.