The ‘Manchurian Candidate’: Trump Was Chosen By Russia To Hurt America
Accusations of playing Russia’s puppet have swirled around Donald Trump from the moment he crashed into America’s political scene in 2015, and as The Daily Beast noted in a piece earlier this year, evidence for those accusations has only grown in the years since.
Russian state media regularly makes clear that the Kremlin is sweet on President Trump, despite the White House and Republicans’ insistence that he has been tougher on Russia than any other president.
The Daily Beast provided a litany of examples.
Russian media “has consistently conveyed the message that Trump’s election has proven exceedingly beneficial for the Kremlin,” the publication noted.
Experts and pundits alike regularly appear on state television expressing hope that Trump will see a second term.
Political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak appeared on 60 Minutes, a news talk show on Russia’s popular state television, to gush over the American president in October: “I look at Trump and think: ‘May God grant him good health—and another term.’ This is a great situation for Russia... may he flourish and get re-elected... Trump is a great candidate. I applaud him... For America, this isn’t a very good president.”
In February, Russian politician Sergey Stankevich took a spot on The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev to say Trump is “obligated” to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to the Victory Day parade in Moscow next month: “Trump owes us a serious debt… from back when he privately met with our president [Putin] in Helsinki one-on-one. They made a deal about creating working groups of entrepreneurs to discuss business, sanctions, de-escalating tensions, disarmaments, etc.”
Appearing on the same show in March of last year, Karen Shakhnazarov, CEO of Mosfilm Studio, blatantly stated that Trump is good for Russia because he is ruining the United States: “They say Trump is making Russia great. That’s basically accurate… The chaos brought by Trump into the American system of government is weakening the United States... So when they say that Trump is weakening the United States—yes, he is. And that’s why we love him... The more problems they have, the better it is for us.”
Russian state media openly gloats about the Kremlin’s influence over Trump, believing that he can endure the exposure without repercussions, and by flaunting the Kremlin’s sway with the White House, Russia further weakens U.S. democracy, which has always been one of its main pursuits.
Hosts on Russian state television have also helped spread conspiracy theories about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son, as well as attempted to push Ukraine to comply with Trump’s demands.
In November 2019, the host of Russian news talk show 60 Minutes*, Evgeny Popov,* warned: “If Trump gets re-elected, and you don’t investigate Biden... [Ukraine] won’t get anything from America. Not a thing.” Two months earlier, Dmitry Kiselyov, the host of Russia’s most popular Sunday news program Vesti Nedeli urged Trump to keep digging in Ukraine for “the sweetest” kompromat of all: “Proving that Ukraine—not Russia—interfered in the U.S. elections.”
It is abundantly clear that Russia is benefiting from the Trump presidency in multiple ways, The Daily Beast noted, pointing to two in particular: “fraying confidence in the integrity of the U.S. elections and the rule of law in America, combined with the weakening of U.S. relations with Ukraine, as well as with other strategic partners and allies.”
There is no end in sight to Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to the Kremlin-backed media.
“Soon, we will help you elect Trump once again. Just like the last time. Get ready!” Popov proclaimed, after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released.
U.S. intelligence officials agree, warning Congress in February that “the Russians have been preparing—and experimenting—for the 2020 election... They have made more creative use of Facebook and other social media. Rather than impersonating Americans as they did in 2016, Russian operatives are working to get Americans to repeat disinformation.”
By all appearances, accusations that Trump was chosen by Russia to hurt America are well-deserved.