Donald Trump is musing about how two years of his presidency have been stolen (he actually wrote “stollen”) and sharing a big supporter’s Twitter post about how he deserves “reparations” because he’s been subject to a “coup” that limited his success.
This kind of authoritarian talk is the sort of thing you might expect from a tin pot dictator or an autocrat like Vladimir Putin. And it makes you wonder what the Russian and American presidents have been talking about.
Ever since he held a beauty pageant in Russia, Trump has sought to cultivate a bromance with the head man in Moscow, musing about whether he would become his “new best friend” and periodically cozying up when he should have been laying down the law.
Most recently Donald chatted with Vlad in a lengthy gabfest — Russia said it lasted 90 minutes — that raised, once again, the question of whether Trump might actually want Russia to repeat the 2016 attack on the American election system because it may have helped him gain the Oval Office.
After his chat with Putin Friday, Trump sounded like a lovesick teen as he said he just knew that the guy on the other end of the line was smiling as they discussed Russia’s attack on the 2016 election. According to Trump, Putin “sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started up as a mountain and ended up as a mouse.”
Trump said that he didn’t mention anything about Russia targeting the 2020 election, although his own director of national intelligence says an attack is expected. He touched lightly on Russia’s current meddling in Venezuela and didn’t mention Putin’s efforts to gain influence in the Middle East or the Korean Peninsula. After hanging up, he tweeted, “Tremendous potential for a good/great relationship with Russia…Nice!” You’d almost think he wants Putin’s help, going into the 2020 campaign.
Although it is alarming to see an American president dominated by a Russian leader in the way Trump is being played by Putin, no mystery obscures this relationship. The Russian president, a ruthless, KGB- trained autocrat, understands Trump’s game because he has played it himself, at a higher level, for decades. And surely, he recognizes in Trump much that is familiar. What they have in common, beside the need to deny Russia’s interference in American democracy, includes: