The new U.S. president has been in his role for just under a month, taking office in a transition that has been marked by chaos and missteps. And already, from the right of the political spectrum to the marginalized Russian left, a mixture of disappointment with the new U.S. president — who came into office promising to remake relations between the two countries — and a sense of vindication that Trump couldn’t be trusted after all has crept into Russian political chatter.
Were the Russians so awful at spy craft that they screwed up the premise in successfully getting Trump elected?
Or, as I think, did the Russians screw up by assuming there was no way Trump could win in a failed effort to get a damaged Hillary elected?
Russia expected to get a crippled but predictable (made even more "predictable" by the Kremlin's possession of Clinton's secret emails that would have provided blackmail material) President Hillary Clinton.
And now the Russians have to deal with a President Trump who apparently can't be damaged by any revelation. That's gotta suck from the Kremlin's point of view.
And worse for Russia, rather than showing American-style democracy to be too difficult to carry out (and thus have less appeal to Russians should Putin's aura of success crack), we got a clear result with no constitutional crisis.
And even worse, our people elected the candidate that the national media waged war against. And our people voted even though the national elites and media tried to bully them through shame into passivity.
For Putin who relies on state media to prop him up and the power of the state to bully any opposition into passivity, our election must be profoundly disturbing.
I'll still bet on the latter.
And now the Russian people, after being told by their own government that if only the corrupt American system would let a true friend like Donald Trump become president all would be great again, find their government was 100% wrong.