As Donald Trump’s presidency continues to unravel amid historic unpopularity and exploding scandals, his puppet masters in Russia can’t help but kick him while he’s down. In recent weeks one Russian government official hinted that he might not see the end of his term. Another announced that Russia does indeed have blackmail material on him. Now a third Russia official is outright bragging on national television that Russia got Trump elected.
This time around the taunting is coming from Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the Russian State Duma, making him the rough equivalent of a Congressman. While appearing on Russian state-controlled television, he bragged that U.S. spies slept while Russia elected a U.S. President. This comes according to Russian media monitor Julia Davis (link), who dug the remark out of a Russian language video (link). What’s remarkable here is that Russia is no longer even trying to hide that it rigged the election.
It’s not entirely clear if the Russian government has a particular strategy with this escalating taunting, or if its officials are simply no longer able to contain themselves. Vladimir Putin installed Donald Trump as President of the United States primarily so that he would lift U.S. sanctions on Russia, which have personally cost Putin billions of dollars in recent years. But Trump has failed in that task, and Congress recently forced him to sign a bill taking away his ability to ever unilaterally lift those sanctions. So now what?
If the Kremlin really does have blackmail material on Donald Trump, as it keeps hinting, and as nearly all observers believe, it could release that material at any time and potentially finish off what’s left of Trump’s presidency on the spot. In the mean time it appears Russia is instead allowing Trump to twist in the wind, knowing the “Pee Pee Tape” or secret financial records could surface at any moment, even as the Russian government taunts him about it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report