Donald Trump may be the world’s biggest Putin fan, but according to a new report from NBC News, the authoritarian occupant of the Kremlin may not return the sentiment.
On Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC that Russia has been so far greatly disturbed by the chaotic commencement of the Trump administration. As a result, in anticipation of the first meeting between the two world leaders, Putin staff and diplomats are working on compiling a “seven pages” long psychological dossier on Trump so as to better understand the man they’re dealing with. “Trump is not living in a box — he is living in a crowd,” Federov added to NBC. “He should listen to the people around him especially in the areas where he is weak.”
More from NBC News:
Putin’s government is growing increasingly concerned about Trump’s battles in Washington, according to Fedorov and former lawmaker Sergei Markov, who remains well-connected at the Kremlin.
It is worried the president will not have the political power to improve relations with Russia, as he has indicated he might try to do, and even, perhaps, lift some U.S. sanctions.
Federov also recognized the fragility of the situation that the current White House administration finds itself in, especially with respect to its hostile relations with the media.
The U.S. president “is dancing on thin ice,” he said. “It’s a risky game.”A former prime minister under Putin said the Kremlin is taking no pleasure at Trump’s struggles.”
Absolutely not — not laughing,” Mikhail Kasyanov said. “The situation is very serious and the whole of [Putin’s] team, they are nervous.”
Since before the official start of his stint as president, Trump and his administration have borne the weight of numerous scandals which all point to intense ties between the United States and Russia. In January, American intelligence agencies discovered that Russia launched a full-scale digital assault on the election process. Last week, national security adviser Mike Flynn resigned after transcripts of his intimate conversations with the Russian ambassador went public.
The president has reaffirmed time and again that he’s an avid supporter of Putin’s style. Two weeks ago, in a CNN interview, Trump defended Putin after being pressed on the matter by Bill O’Reilly: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
In short, Russia worked tirelessly to aid Trump’s ascent to the presidency. If even Putin is reconsidering that choice, it’s clear we’re in entirely uncharted territory.