New Delhi: After FBI agents searched former US president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Monday looking for classified White House documents, videos began to emerge online of Russian state TV anchors and political commentators throwing their support behind the American businessman-turned-politician, and even endorsing him for re-election.
“I like the conservative values that are promoted by [former US] president Donald Trump. We need to support Trump and not be shy about it,” said Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko on Channel One Russia.
Earlier in a news segment, Russian TV anchor Evgeny Popov, who is also a political figure and a deputy of the 8th State Duma (Russian Assembly), referred to Trump as “our friend Donald”. He also made a reference to Trump’s remarks in March when the latter had said that US President Joe Biden had done “more damage in 16 months than the five worst presidents in US history combined”.
“Trump said that Joe caused more harm to the country than the five worst US presidents put together. Trump didn’t specify who those five presidents were and whether he himself was one of them. Our friend Donald clearly decided not to join that group,” said Popov.
Trump has supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions throughout the Russia-Ukraine war, calling Putin’s decision to declare two regions of eastern Ukraine as independent states and moving the Russian troops into them as “genius” earlier this year.
Moscow has also been accused of interfering in the 2016 US presidential elections when Trump was up against Democratic candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In a debate that year, Clinton had famously called Trump as Putin’s “puppet”.
On Monday, after the FBI did a search at his Florida property, Trump said such an incident could only take place in “broken” third world countries.
‘China could be a friend to Republicans under Trump’s leadership’
During the same news segment, Popov weighed in on Trump’s criticism of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week. Trump had remarked that Pelosi is “always causing trouble” and by visiting the island nation, she had played into China’s hands. Popov pointed out that Republicans are usually “anti-China”, however, under Trump’s leadership, Beijing could become a friend to his party.
“Trump called Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan stupid, giving more leverage to China to exert pressure. Republicans are usually more “anti-China” than Democrats. But, the election is near, which means that China may soon become a friend and a valued partner of the Republicans led by Trump,” said Popov. “Business as usual.”
The next US presidential election will take place in November 2024, and reports say that Trump is looking to announce his re-election bid later this year.
(Edited by Siddarth Muralidharan)