Putin, Russia are indeed threats, so why not meet, and keep them closer th

President Donald Trump is being criticized roundly by some for his plan to meet personally with Russian leader Vladimir Putin this summer. That may occur next month.

Since even before the 2016 election, conspiracy theories about Trump and Putin abounded. There were claims the Russian leader had embarrassing information with which he was blackmailing Trump. There were, and still are, allegations Putin had helped Trump get elected.

Through all this has run a thread of accusations, strangely enough by the very liberals who for decades insisted U.S. leaders needed to work more closely with Moscow, that Trump should be actively unfriendly toward Putin.

In some ways, Russia remains the pre-eminent threat to U.S. national security. Putin’s aggressive foreign policy is a threat to both us and our allies.

So Trump is doing the smart thing. He is trying to establish a working relationship with the Russian leader. Perhaps we can work out some of our differences. If not, at least we can avoid misunderstandings.

Too bad Trump’s critics do not understand the wisdom of the old advice: Keep your friends close — and your enemies closer.