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Donald Trump

So Trump has a schoolboy crush on Putin: Helsinki just proved what we already knew

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 July, 2018, 9:15pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 July, 2018, 9:15pm

President Donald Trump’s posture and delivery in Helsinki should not have surprised anyone (“‘Putin’s poodle’: scathing newspaper headlines of Donald Trump at Helsinki summit”, July 17). As the British historian, Simon Sebag Montefiore, put it last year: “Trump wants to be the first American tsar”. He “looks at Vladimir Putin and he just sees a man who has control of violence, who can order interventions in foreign countries at the click of a hand. It’s a slightly boyish crush on the idea of the gangster boss.”

Trump views Putin as a powerful leader, political benefactor, fellow nationalist, a co-defender of Christianity, and a comrade in arms. Given the symmetry of their beliefs, convictions and goals, Trump’s performance at the summit was fairly predictable.

As far back as 2007, Trump told Larry King on CNN, “Look at Putin – what he’s doing with Russia … whether you like him or don’t like him – he’s doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia, period”.

In 2015, on another cable news programme, Trump said of Putin: “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country” (then US president Barack Obama).

Trump’s ‘squirming’ reversal: I meant opposite of what I said with Putin

One thing is for sure: it is incontrovertible that Putin helped Trump win the 2016 election. If not for Moscow’s highly sophisticated campaign, there is no way that Trump would have beaten Hillary Clinton. That is not fake news; that is a fact.

Although Trump can’t say it in public, he knows the truth: dossier or not, he is indebted to Putin for everything that he has accomplished as president of the United States.

George Cassidy Payne, Rochester, New York