Recriminations are flying in Washington over the Trump administration’s response to the barefaced theft of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) presidential election. As so often, the romantics are denouncing the pragmatists — with the former doing most of the talking, both on and off the record. Romantic officials who lost the internal debate spilled their hearts anonymously to Foreign Policy to protest against the state department’s January 23 statement that “the US welcomes the Congolese Constitutional Court’s certification of Felix Tshisekedi as the next president” of the DRC. They had endorsed a different, welcome-less draft that spoke of a “deeply flawed and troubling election” and reiterated earlier vows to “hold accountable those who ... undermine democratic processes”. Said one, as quoted by Foreign Policy: “If we said we’ll hold the government accountable ... and five days letter we congratulate a bunch of thieves, what good are our threats?” Riva Levinson, a one-time ...

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