The Trump-Putin honeymoon is over, but the marriage was a sham

James Miller writes: The Russian government’s love affair with Trump had more to do with fostering anti-Americanism than with seeking rapprochement. Russian media coverage reflects this. A careful study of the Kremlin-controlled media, working in both English and Russian, shows that the Russian media was never pro-Trump, but it was anti-Clinton. Trump received mostly neutral treatment, mixed with positive and negative coverage, while the Kremlin spread conspiracy theories and attacked Clinton’s policies. Russian articles about Trump tended to spread the narrative that the United States is a failing democracy and the game was rigged against any politician, like Trump, who did not view Russia as the enemy. They even warned that the establishment would likely find a way to sabotage Trump’s success. In this way, many articles that were “pro-Trump” were really just anti-Clinton, as Clinton was painted as a member of the establishment by both the Russian media and the Trump campaign.

But the Kremlin’s narrative about Trump was formed when Clinton had a commanding lead in the polls. In all likelihood, they never expected him to win. This means that the Kremlin has to find a new narrative to attack the United States. The anti-Americanism that is resurfacing in the Russian media now is just a return to form.

In an interesting twist, the Russian media is now warning that American society is fraying and a constitutional crisis may be brewing. Kiselyov used his TV show on March 5 to voice concern about what is happening in America. Partisanship and controversy are tearing the country apart, he said. “America is in the grips of hatred,” he warned viewers, a situation made more worrisome because of its culture of “free-flowing firearms.” [Continue reading…]

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