“The madness of Supporting a mad man is He Could Turn on You as Fast as He embraced You” *unknown
|Trump in his mind is more important than any next guy next to him|
A funny thing happened in Russia this past week: President Trump’s face, once ubiquitous on the talk shows and evening news programs that tack closely to the Kremlin’s political agenda, was suddenly absent. Gone.
“Like they flipped a switch,” said Alexey Kovalev, a journalist at the Moscow Times who covers Russian state media.
It’s not hard to guess why. Engulfed in scandal over contacts between senior aides and Russian officials, the Trump administration has sought to put daylight between itself and the Kremlin.
In a single week, Washington has complained that Russia is violating a 1987 nuclear treaty and accused the Kremlin of meddling in various foreign elections. Scandal has forced out a national security adviser sympathetic to Moscow. Trump’s tone has seemed to harden on issues like Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula.
For the Russians, it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.
U.S. intelligence agencies released a declassified version of their report on Russian intervention in the 2016 U.S. election on Jan. 6, just hours after President-elect Donald Trump was briefed by American officials. (Video: Peter Stevenson: The Washington Post/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).
U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Russian hackers directed by President Vladimir Putin sought to put Trump in the White House instead of Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeing the New York businessman as far friendlier to Moscow’s interests. The Kremlin denies the charge.
If it’s true, what did it get the Russians? Moscow bristled this week when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Washington should negotiate with Russia from a “position of strength.” It could have been just another day under the Obama administration.
“There is disappointment for many people,” said Vladimir Posner, a prominent Russian television journalist who hosts an interview program on Channel One Russia. “Along with disappointment comes anger. Why did [Trump] lie to us? Why did he make us think that he wants things to get better?”
[5 times Donald Trump’s team denied contact with Russia]
Trump’s election brought euphoria to Moscow. Partly that came from the defeat of Clinton, a nemesis of Putin’s. But it also reflected the promise of a Trump administration: a chance to hammer out deals with a U.S. president who would allow Russia to consolidate power in its region and edge back toward great power status.
Some of the tough U.S. talk toward Russia reflects the fact that American military and diplomatic officials continue to reflect their standard positions — like the allegation that Russia has been violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (Russia denies the charge)