A former U.S. ambassador to Russia explained how the Russian government has reacted to its “operation” to get Donald Trump elected to the American presidency — and what he’s delivered for the country in the two years of his term.
“When Trump won, that was a giant party in Moscow,” former ambassador Michael McFaul told political scientist Ian Bremmer in an interview for Gzero Media. “Everybody’s very happy about that and they’re proud of their operation.”
Russians may publicly “deny it,” but they privately are happy with the outcome of the 2016 election that McFaul suggested was orchestrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Why shouldn’t they be proud of their operation?” he mused. “With low levels of investment, they got a big return and the punishment for it has been pretty marginal. In the wake of that, that seemed like a great victory.”
The ambassador recalled the Russian president promoting the “deep state” idea even when Barack Obama was president.
“That’s the way that his country runs,” McFaul mused, “so that’s what he thinks it is here, right?”
Though the Russian government is “frustrated” on some fronts with Trump, its officials are glad he’s delivered on polarizing and eroding American politics, the ambassador noted.
“We’re arguing over shutdowns and we look like fools and we don’t look like a great power right now,” McFaul said. “Add to that the withdrawal doctrine that Trump has done where he withdraws from everything, international agreements, that is a good thing in terms of Putin’s strategic thinking, without question.”
Watch the interview below: