Donald Trump is a very small man with a very big ego. We got more proof of this when he got the bright idea to stage a hostile takeover of the Fourth of July celebration in Washington.
For the better part of four decades, one of the capital’s traditions has been “A Capitol Fourth,” a free concert on the Capitol lawn featuring fireworks launched from the Lincoln Memorial. However, Trump commandeered the National Mall to hold his own event, “Salute to America.” He intended it to be a great display of military might reminiscent of the Bastille Day parade. However, a number of critics saw other, more ominous parallels–to authoritarian regimes such as Russia, North Korea and China.
In the end, the event was a dumpster fire–but not quite as big as feared. Granted, as part of Trump’s takeover of the National Mall, VIP tickets were doled out to Republican bigwigs, giving it the air of a campaign rally even though Trump’s speech wasn’t as laden with red meat as his past speeches.
That speech, however, featured one staggering gaffe–when Trump claimed the Continental Army captured several airports during the Revolutionary War. Lest you think that’s snark, watch here.
But even before that gaffe, Trump’s attempted takeover of our nation’s birthday party was already being panned in one quarter. Namely, Russia.
As the nation woke up to celebrate its 243rd birthday, writer, producer and Russian propaganda expert Julia Davis was looking to see how Trump’s plans were playing in the Kremlin. Davis, a native Ukrainian who is fluent in Russian, is the woman behind the Russian Media Monitor, which keeps tabs on Russian radio and television “in broader context of the Kremlin’s information warfare.”
Long before Vladimir Putin unleashed his troll farms in 2016, Russian radio and television have been important weapons in this campaign of “information warfare.” There is no independent press worth mentioning in Russia; nearly all major media outlets are either owned outright by the state or controlled by Putin cronies. It is understood that when Russian journalists speak, nine times out of ten Putin is speaking through them.
So when Davis noticed panelists on “60 Minutes,” a news and debate program that shares a name–and little else–with its American counterpart, riffing on Trump’s parade, she couldn’t help but notice that they weren’t too impressed. Or, more accurately, Putin wasn’t too impressed.
Apparently the hosts didn’t think too much of Trump’s attempted display of military might, and saw it as nothing more than a campaign stunt.
Apparently they also saw it as evidence of a serious inferiority complex, judging by this exchange with Russian defense ministry official Igor Korotchenko.
Davis noticed something else. Apparently Putin doesn’t think much of Trump–even though he threw everything that wasn’t nailed down into the campaign to hack the 2016 election for Trump.
CNN national security correspondent Jim Scuitto was quick to draw a conclusion that anyone who knows about Russia would draw–for all intents and purposes, Putin was speaking through this program.
Later, Davis noticed that during the evening news on Russia-1, the main Russian state TV channel, reporters continued to mock Trump’s takeover of the National Mall.
So in Putin’s eyes, Trump’s efforts to have tanks rolling through the capital amounted to just a “decoration.” Boy, that’s brutal.
Trump’s critics have mocked this parade as a sign of his dictatorial ambitions. Well, judging by this reaction from Putin’s media puppets, Trump isn’t doing dictator very well.
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