Dring the 2016 United States presidential election, and till now, the one question that has been on the minds of the majority of Americans have been “In Donald Trump indeed a Putin’s Puppet? Although we may not at this moment have a valid answer to this interesting question posed by Americans, It is perfectly clear that all the signs and evidence are pushing in the direction that it might actually be true and that the new president Donald Trump could have been installed by the Russian president Putin and, therefore subject to being compromised while in the White House.
Moscow news editor Alexei Venediktov once remarked that Vladimir Putin is first and foremost a Brezhnev-era KGB officer. A KGB officer’s top priority is to undermine his main enemy: the U.S. In a brilliant stroke of political judo, Putin is encouraging the belief that he installed President Trump as the real-life Manchurian candidate, feeding into the acrimony – on both sides of the aisle, and also overseas – provoked by the American populist revolt.
Like every political analyst in the world, Putin was convinced that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election. He had aimed to tarnish American democracy in the eyes of the world, portraying it as a farce in which the dead vote. He had expected to be dealing with a weakened, tamed Clinton as the American president. Instead, he got Trump.
So what does a smart KGB officer from the Brezhnev era do? He turns to the tools of his trade: disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, and more. He pivots, and claims that he installed President Trump and controls him – and he leverages his propaganda machine in Russia and Europe to promote the claim. He manipulates the American media too, using half-truths and feeding into the narrative they are eager to write. His claims undermine the confidence of the security structure in Washington, NATO capitals, and around the world.
In early December, Putin himself aggressively promoted the idea that Trump would be his man. In a double entendre worthy of The Sopranos, he told Russia’s NTV that “if Trump is a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions.”
So, is Donald Trump a Puttin’s Puppet? That is a question that we will someday find answers to. Hopefully in the nearest future.