Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been buddies. They’ve had a sort of mutual admiration society. That may seem odd, since Trump has held tough stances in foreign policy. Back in the old USSR days, Soviet leaders said, candidly, that they’d rather negotiate with a Republican, because a conservative leader can deliver liberal votes for an agreement, while the reverse may not be true.
In December, Putin called Trump an “absolute leader. . . He’s a very lively man, talented without doubt.”
In April, after Trump’s foreign relations speech, the Russians gushed praise.
After Donald Trump gave a much-anticipated foreign policy speech Wednesday, some of the most glowing reviews that he received were from a place that doesn’t often see eye-to-eye with American politicians.
Trump’s speech was more than well-received in Russia. In Moscow’s Red Square, passersby speaking to CNN praised the New York tycoon. And Russian politicians from President Vladimir Putin on down have been quoted saying favorable things about the GOP presidential front-runner.
Some say they have an absolute “bromance.” And Trump thinks they’d agree on a lot.
Trump: “In terms of leadership, he’s getting an ‘A'”
Just two months ago, Trump said that if he became president, his relationship with Putin would be so strong that the Russian leader would gladly extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
“If I were president, Putin would give him over,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I would get along with Putin. I’ve dealt with Russia.”
But if Trump and Putin are such good friends, what do you make of the Russians hacking into the Democratic National Committee files to look for what they have on Trump?
Who is going to advise Trump on foreign policy? Who do they need to influence, connect with, get to? They’re figuring out the nodes in the network. Let’s say Donald Trump gets elected; they want to know in advance who will be Donald Trump’s expert on Russia, who will lead his position on NATO? How can we influence them? This is important: People are policy. The Ben Rhodeses [an Obama security adviser] of the world matter. If you have Donald Rumsfeld, that’s different from Colin Powell.
Those advisers, if Trump wins, they’re going to be in the White House — the next Valerie Jarrett. If they can figure out who the people are going to be, and what the constellation looks like, then they can get a really good head start. Because that actually builds for them a vision of what Trump’s decision-making may look like.
The article goes on to suggest that the “friendship” may not be as honest as it seems.
There is a more fundamental battle of ideas here. The Russian argument is that this, a sort of electoral democracy, is not a good, functioning model. And because of that, their authoritarian model — not quite a full-blown dictatorial model — is just as good. That’s what Vladimir Putin was doing when he was giving these compliments to Trump. It’s actually a hilariously sophisticated play. Putin’s saying, “Look, in a liberal democracy like America, they prefer a guy like me, too.”
Of course, there’s always another explanation. Putin seems to want Trump to win. What if he just hands over the Democratic intelligence on Trump, along with how they plan to use it? That would be a real benefit for Trump. And, of course, the Russians would expect to be paid back, should he win.
Meanwhile, Putin is claiming to have Hillary’s emails, which he says Russia hacked into.
That is bizarre, and the first time I can remember a government leader not only admitting to spying, but bragged about it.
The release would, the messaging indicated, prove that Secretary Clinton had, in fact, laid open U.S. secrets to foreign interception by putting highly-classified Government reports onto a private server in violation of U.S. law, and that, as suspected, the server had been targeted and hacked by foreign intelligence services. . .
The reports indicated that the decision as to whether to reveal the intercepts would be made by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, and it was possible that the release would, if made, be through a third party, such as Wikileaks. The apparent message from Moscow, through the intelligence community, seemed to indicate frustration with the pace of the official U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the so-called server scandal. . .
Sounds a little fishy. They have these emails, admitting to illegal spying, but someone else may publish them? Could this be a hoax? Could Putin be claiming he has the emails, just to make the issue more prominent in the campaign? Could this all be part of his efforts to get his buddy, Donald, elected?
Clearly, the Russians don’t want to face Hillary, a NeoCon, who has always had a hard line regarding Russia. “If it’s Hillary Clinton, it’s war,” Putin told the Russian people.
Hillary Clinton brings the real threat of war, not Donald Trump, according to Vladimir Putin, as election news has Russia gearing up for a possible attack. Hillary’s image as a war hawk is lost on mainstream American voters, but Russia, Europe, and other nations saw a not-so-warm-and-fuzzy side of Hillary when she was Secretary of State. . .
Vladimir Putin does not obfuscate his opinion of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. They are both Satan in his eyes. Many older Russians blame Bill Clinton for the collapse of the Russian economy during the 1990s, while younger people have formed their opinions based on Russian media reports. The Observer reports Putin’s words as he describes his view of Mrs. Clinton.
President Obama and Hillary tried to “reset” relations with Russia in 2009, but not for long. In 2001, George W. Bush famously said, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.” But that was the high point of US-Russian relations.
According to The American Conservative, it was all downhill from there.
Putin’s guarded and mistrustful attitude to the United States is common knowledge, and he makes no attempt to conceal it. The reasons for it lie not in his record during the Cold War, as many often claim, but in his experience in dealing with the George W. Bush administration during its first and, particularly, second term.
Whether fair or not, Putin has come to the conclusion that a gentlemen’s agreement is not possible with the United States. He thinks Bush responded with base ingratitude to Moscow’s positive gestures more than once. . .
So the question is, does Putin truly respect Trump, thinking they can “negotiate” to mutual benefit? Or does he just think Trump would be easier to fool?