In a much-maligned White House photo, Trump appears seated behind the desk in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov standing behind him. Trump’s critics were quick to point out how troubling such a photograph is, in light of the evidence that Russia conspired to help Trump get elected in the first place.
It seems the irony of this picture wasn’t lost on news outlets in Russia, either. Russian network Rossiya 1 aired a segment titled “Puppet Master and Agent: How to Understand Lavrov’s Meeting With Trump.” If that’s not a bit unsettling, we’re not sure what is.
Pro-Kremlin station in Russia are generally positive in their treatment of Trump. Recent moves, such as Trump’s ongoing refusal to allow Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky the White House meeting he’s been waiting for for months, have endeared the president greatly to state media in Russia.
Another development that has Putin enthused is Rudy Giuliani’s ongoing efforts to rewrite the facts of the 2016 election. Numerous intelligence agency reports indicate that Russia unequivocally interfered in the election on behalf of Trump, but Giuliani has been attempting to spin a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, instead, interfered in the election.
Not only is this theory baffling, as Ukraine would have no motive in doing this––it’s also unsupported by any evidence. However, Putin himself has stated, “Thank God no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore. Now they’re accusing Ukraine.”
Russian networks have been candid in their assessment of the US political climate, however, and understand that Trump won’t be in power forever. One commentator remarked “Should we get another apartment in Rostov ready?” for when Trump is out of office.
This refers to Viktor Yanukovych, a former president of Ukraine who was also seen as pro-Kremlin and who was also connected to Paul Manafort. Yanukovych had Manafort as an advisor, and later Manafort was the campaign chairman for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Chillingly, one guest on Rossiya-24 pointed out that the main antagonists in the relationship between Russia and the US are Congressional Democrats. Make of that revelation what you will.