Trump's Congressional ally is headed to Russia as soon as Trump is inaugurated
Dana Rohrabacher, the long-serving Republican congressman from California has announced he will be leading a Congressional delegation on an official visit to Russia next month. There he will meet with his Russian counterparts from the Russian parliament (the Duma).
Well OK so an unspecified number of American legislators will travel to Moscow to speak to Russian MPs. Who cares, right? After all it is not as if any of them get to direct foreign policy.
Except consider this:
Rohrabacher, who sees China as America's biggest rival by far, has long been an outspoken supporter of pursuing better relations with Russia. He is identified as an important (and rare) ally of Trump in Congress, who has likewise stated repeatedly he would like to "get along with Russia" and who also harbors serious misgivings about China. Actually Rohrabacher was named in the press as a serious contender for the Secretary of State job which eventually went to the Exxon CEO Tillerson and was one of the people who has met with Trump since he was elected.
Whether he has talked about this trip with Trump or not, it is highly likely that Rohrabacher's hope is that his visit will pave the way for more US-Russia contacts at a higher level.
Are Trump, Tillerson and Rohrabacher trio going to attempt a "reverse Nixon" and try to lure Russia away from China? We don't know but if they were to do it, this would be how they would start it off. (Nixon likewise did not merely show up on China's doorstep one day. His visit was preceded by sevevral months of preparations including a preceding (secret) trip by Henry Kissinger.)