A WIN/Gallup poll conducted last August and September in 45 countries covering nearly 75% of the world’s population found only one country where Donald Trump was more popular than Hillary Clinton: Russia.
Anna Nemtsova reports: Preparations for the Donald Trump inauguration party are well under way at the newly opened restaurant and nightclub Arbat 13 in the very heart of Moscow.
For what must be the first time in history, Russians are treating the day an American president swears to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” as their own significant event.
Igor Khaletsky, whose club is frequented by businessmen, government officials, and wealthy lovers of what’s known as gangster-jazz, is following a new Russian trend. “The Trump cult is growing because the new U.S. president seems loyal to Russia,” Khaletsky told The Daily Beast. “So we decided that The Trump Band [a newly named ensemble] and its gangster-jazz music would be relevant to the night of the inauguration.”
At the top of Russia’s establishment many say of Trump, “He is a deal maker — he is one of us!” And the most famous fan of President-elect Trump is Russia’s number one decision maker, President Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, commenting on the “golden showers” or “pee-pee tape scandal,” President Putin said that he could not imagine Trump hiring prostitutes (“our girls of lowered social responsibility”) for the Miss Universe beauty contest that the U.S. billionaire organized in Moscow in 2013.
“He’s a grown-up for a start and, secondly, a man who spent his whole life organizing beauty contests and meeting the most beautiful women in the world,” said Putin. “I doubt Trump fell for that, although they [Russian hookers] are of course the best in the world.” Putin was joking as if he and Trump were best buddies.
Meanwhile Moscow’s official media have kicked into high gear condemning “the black time” of Barack Obama’s presidency. Some reports refer to him ironically not as the white dove but “the black bird of peace.” [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: After a tumultuous campaign and transition, President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Friday as the least-popular incoming president in at least four decades, but a majority of Americans nevertheless express optimism that he will be able to fulfill campaign pledges to boost the economy and deal with threats of terrorism, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Amid controversy and calls for additional investigations into possible Russian interference in the election, most Americans disapprove of Trump’s response to the hacking and other activities. But they are divided on the question of whether the president-elect has been too friendly toward Russia or taken the right approach in his public comments and posture.
On ethical matters, a bare majority say the steps Trump and his attorney outlined last week to turn over control of his sprawling business enterprise to his children create adequate separation while he serves as president. But the public is split almost evenly on whether he and his family are fully complying with federal ethics laws, and an overwhelming majority say he should release his federal tax returns, which he has long declined to do. [Continue reading…]