Donald Trump’s coziness towards Russia and its brutal dictatorial president Vladimir Putin has been one of the most disturbing elements of his administration since day one. In addition to the kind words Trump has repeatedly offered for the foreign strongman, he has also completely failed to adequately respond to Russian interference in the 2016 election or its planned interference in 2020. The United States has been weakened on the world stage and Russia emboldened in pursuing its illiberal global agenda.
The Daily Beast reports that Russian state media ran a television piece over the weekend entitled “Puppet Master and ‘Agent’—How to Understand Lavrov’s Meeting With Trump” which used Trump’s recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to paint the American president as a lackey of the Russian government. Another television program got particular glee out of explaining how the photo taken of Trump and Lavrov in the Oval Office has the Russian diplomat standing behind Trump as he sits at the Resolute Desk, visually suggesting that Russia is the secret power behind his presidency.
To Russian state media, the deteriorating political landscape in America is a great source of entertainment
“Russian state television still views the impending impeachment as a bump in the road that won’t lead to Trump’s removal from office. But President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda brigades enjoy watching the heightened divisions in the United States, and how it hurts relations between the U.S. and Ukraine,” explains Julia Davis in The Daily Beast article.
The fixation of Russian state media on American politics also included a mocking prediction of what kind of life Trump can expect once he leaves the White House. First Deputy Director General of news agency ITAR-TASS Mikhail Gusman predicted on a Russian Sunday show that Trump will have a “very unhappy period” when Democrats eventually come back into power.
The host of the show jokingly asked Gusman if Russia should “get another apartment in Rostov ready” a reference to disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who fled his country and now resides in exile in Russia. Putin’s forces currently occupy Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine, and Russian state media outlets are thrilled to point out the souring relationship between Ukraine and the United States under the leadership of the pro-Kremlin Trump.
While it seems unlikely that Trump would actually flee to Russia once his administration ends, the hosts are correct that his prospects post-presidency look bleak. He is incredibly unpopular and the massive damage he has inflicted on our country ensures his legacy will be one of nothing but weakness and shame. Any attempts to rehabilitate his image down the road will almost certainly end in failure and humiliation. History will judge him as the monster he is.