Donald Trump is pretty popular in Russia — at least, for an American.
Twenty-eight percent of Russians believe that a Trump presidency would benefit U.S.-Russia relations, while only one percent said they approved of U.S. leadership, according to a new poll conducted by the Interfax News Agency. Only 9 percent believe the same for Hillary Clinton.
“I like Donald Trump the best. He is a good looking man,” a young Russian woman told BBC News in April. “His attitude towards Russia is better than Hillary Clinton’s.”
“Donald Trump is the one I prefer. I think he is more honest and open,” another Russian said with a slight smirk.
One Russian man, 75-year-old Felix Kolsky, even sent a letter to Trump offering his entire life savings of 100,000 rubles ($1,500), the equivalent of four monthly salaries for the average Russian citizen. Kolksy painstakingly saved up the money by playing the stock market and growing his own potatoes and cabbage.
“Dear Mister Donald Trump,” the letter starts off. “Greetings from the most ordinary Russian citizen, Felix Nikolaevich Kolsky.”
The devoted Trump fan explains that he has been following the U.S. presidential election and has concluded one thing: “From the group of candidates for the presidency, you are the only one who inspires confidence.”
Kolsky continues, “Possessing superior military potential and [the most] developed economy in the world, you are always able to resolve the most pressing problems peacefully….I hope that the American people will elect Donald Trump president of the USA.”
Kolsky writes that he believes a Trump presidency would prevent war between America and Russia, while he views Clinton with distrust and hostility. “Look at Hillary, it’s clear — she’s ready to storm Russia tomorrow!” he said, according to the Observer.
Average Russian citizens are not the only evidence of Russian support of Trump. Russian President Valdimir Putin enthusiastically endorsed Trump in the recent past, calling him a “really brilliant and talented person,” and the Kremlin-controlled news has followed suit.
When the Associated Press reported that Clinton had cinched the number of votes needed for the Democratic nomination, the evening newscast of Channel One Russia used the event to point out that Roger Clinton (Hillary’s brother-in-law) had a DUI.
“Tainting the electoral campaign of Hillary Clinton are the adventures of a close relative,” the English translation of the newscast reads.
Russian TV coverage focuses on Hillary’s hatred of Russia, painting her as a reckless warmonger and a heartless woman. The Russian news agency REGNUM, reacting to Clinton’s famous line regarding Gaddafi’s death (“We came, we saw, he died”), announced, “Hillary Clinton means war!” and “American militarism has a female face!”
Another Russian network reported that her election was paid for by foreign oligarchs. According to the tabloid “Komsomolskaya Pravda” — the most popular form of printed media in Russia — Hillary Clinton is not only abusive, hypocritical, and impulsive, but she is also bisexual. The Russian tabloid claims that Clinton’s use of a private email server is evidence for an “intimate” relationship with her aide, Huma Abedin, and that her marriage to Bill Clinton is just a cover-up.
Russia’s hatred of Clinton corroborates the theory that it hacked the Democratic National Committee, leaking nearly 20,000 private emails in an attempt to bolster Trump — and hurt Clinton — in the November presidential election.
But the FBI has not yet reached a conclusion on the hack, and Trump denied any Russian involvement in a press conference on Wednesday, calling the claim “ridiculous.”
Without a trace of irony, Trump went on to encourage the superpower to hack into the private email server of Clinton and “find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” making him the first Republican presidential candidate to support Russian espionage against the United States.
Addressing Russia, Trump said, “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Russia has yet to respond.
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