Putin Desperately Trying To Court Trump; It Could Have Unfortunate Side Effects for Trump

Barack Obama’s decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats, something not seen since the 1980s, puts Trump in an idiotic position. Obama’s decision could have been viewed as revenge against the president-elect for his victory, if not for the fact that American intelligence really did produce a report which describes, in detail, Russia’s actions to destabilize the American electoral process. Knowing how meticulous the Americans are in making such reports, one might assume the president-elect will actually have to listen and read it. Actually, he already agreed to meet with intelligence agencies, since not paying attention to the conclusions of your own intelligence agencies could result in impeachment. So, whether Trump believes the conclusions of the report or not, he will have to react.

Furthermore, even if the love affair with Vladimir Putin begins on the first day, canceling both the new and previous sanctions and allowing the diplomats to return immediately will not be possible. First of all, Congress might not allow it, not to mention how strange it would be to see such loving feelings directed at the leader of a rival country. But Putin, who apparently actually thinks America is a country of dupes, is doing everything he can to sink Trump.

As we know, there were some initial rumors about a harsh Kremlin response to the expulsions, but then, after a short pause, the stern Kremlin ruler made an unprecedented move in Russian diplomacy: having been obsessed with revenge (which was illustrated by the story of the destroyed Russian military plane and Turkish President Erdogan) Putin then put on the fluffy costume of a New Year’s bunny. He called Obama’s approach “kitchen diplomacy,”* refused to respond in kind to the expulsion of diplomats, and … invited the children of American diplomats to the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Kremlin.

The children will not come, of course; this peaceable attitude is meant for Putin’s television appearance, but the calculation is also that Trump will appreciate it. He won’t appreciate it, since the all-conquering stupidity of this move is obvious. While his own propaganda-addled citizens will celebrate the kindness of the Kremlin Santa Claus and won’t ask why the children of American diplomats are being invited to the Kremlin, while the children of parents killed by the Boyarishnik bath lotion are not, in America they will definitely start asking some more direct questions.**

The first one will be: how will Trump repay such kindness from the Russian dictator? Maybe he already has? Does all of this mean that the political thesis, that interests are more important than friendship, is null and void? Putin is severely sabotaging Trump with his theatrical kindness. Trump will have to choose between the fun New Year’s tree in the Kremlin and the gloomy reports of espionage issued by his own intelligence services.

Surely, in this situation, he won’t shoo away his own intelligence agencies and choose the Kremlin New Year’s tree?

But even if this report doesn’t make any impression on Trump, Putin has already buried the normal process of normalizing ties with Washington, since Putin’s persistent offer of friendship is merely reducing Trump to the level of a contractor, building Putin’s “Temple of Canceling Sanctions and the Icon of Recognizing the Kremlin.” After all, Putin’s hopes about the new leader of the U.S. are widely known.

Here, the stupidity of Kremlin strategists is simply staggering. They think America is also hooked on Kiselev and Soloviev, and that you can jerk Americans around like Russian citizens.*** Ineptly separating Trump from his Republican circle, whose mood, by the way, is highly critical, the Kremlin is digging Trump’s grave, in which he will be buried under a flurry of suspicion that his victory was carved out by Putin and his hackers. This is exactly what Obama assumes anyway.

*Translator’s note: This is a reference to the “kitchen debates” between then Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. Vice-President Richard Nixon in 1959, now a way to describe petty diplomatic conduct.

**Editor’s note: More than 70 people in Russia died in December after drinking counterfeit “boyarishnik,” a bath lotion found to contain methanol.

***Translator’s note: This refers to two top presenters on Russian state TV who are accused of enthusiastically promoting the government’s positions.

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