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Who is Putin’s favorite President? 

Who is Putin’s favorite President? 

If you are a hardcore Trump-hating Democrat or get your news from MSNBC, you obviously believe that President Trump would be Putin’s favorite President. 

And frankly, if you only consider what President Trump and President Biden have said about the Madman of Moscow, I can understand why folks might believe that.  Trump sounds overly friendly and accommodating.  Biden talks tough.  Neither of them acts according to their rhetoric.  It can be fairly argued that Trump has been tougher on Russia than Biden.  And I am betting that Putin is less concerned by what they say than what they do – or did not do.

Let us start with what they have said.  Biden has directed some very tough talk against Putin.  He even said that Putin needs to be removed from office – although the “White House” walked that back.  Biden has lost no opportunity to threaten Putin with devastating sanctions.  He told the Russian President that if Alexei Navalny died in prison, there were to be “drastic actions” against Putin. 

On the other hand, Trump has made a number of statements that were – or could be interpreted — as pro-Putin.   He called Putin a smart man and that he trusted Putin’s denial on the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.  Trump’s comments regarding Putin can be seen as two types.  He fails to condemn Putin when condemnation seems clearly called for.  He also praises Putin at times when praise does not seem warranted or appropriate.

But the real question is whose policies have been tougher on Putin and Russia.

Biden’s tough talk has not translated into tough actions.  He has backed down to Russia’s interests in Afghanistan, Syria and with Iran.  His promise of immediate crushing sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine were dribbled out over a two-year period – and appear to have had no significant impact on Putin or his conduct of the war.

When Putin first amassed troops and threatened to invade, Biden assured the Russian dictator that America would not get directly involved. Biden ordered the removal of American military advisors who were in Ukraine.  He rejected Ukraine’s request for an international no-fly zone.  He used his influence to keep NATO nations from getting directly involved.  Those actions essentially put a welcome mat on Ukraine’s door for Putin.  While Biden pledged unbridled support for Ukraine, his policy was too little/too late.  He was slow to provide essential weaponry – and is yet to provide the requested jet fighters.

Conversely, Trump took a number of actions directed at Putin.  He placed sanctions on Putin before the invasion, kicked Russian intelligence diplomats out for spying – and shut down their spy operation.  He bombed a Syrian air base used by Russian military.

The Democrat spin machine has claimed that Trump’s harsh rhetoric regarding NATO was because he wanted to undermine NATO or take the United States out.  If that were true, Trump’s enemies might have a point.  But Trump’s complaints against NATO were focused on member nations not paying their promised “fair share.”  So, why is jawboning NATO members to increase their contributions to the Alliance seen as a way to weaken it?  It would seem that Trump was pushing to strengthen NATO with more resources.

On the other hand, Trump’s more recent comments about NATO are more disturbing.  NATO is essentially the Anti-Putin Alliance, and the United States should be all in – while still pressuring for more financial support from other member nations.

Biden and Trump have both been accused of being compromised by business dealings in Russia.  With Trump it was plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and the Steele Dossier that was said to have exposed Trump to KGB blackmail (It was later determined to be a hoax put forward by Hillary Clinton operatives).  For Biden, the problem again runs through his son, Hunter, who received millions of dollars from Russian sources. I understand that there has not yet been established a direct link to Papa Biden, but come on, folks.  That and other money would never have been given to citizen Hunter Biden if he were not a doorman for the Oval Office.  All of Hunter’s and Biden brother James’ multimillions of dollars of dubious income was exclusively the result of their access and influence with Biden – as senator, Vice President and President.

From the actual record, not just the rhetoric, it can be argued that Putin has been able to be Putin under both Trump and Biden.  That could also be said with President Obama and President George W. Bush.  None of them established policies or took actions to effectively push back against the Russian President’s aggression against the world democracies.  There was no effective response to Putin’s taking of Georgia.  His assisting Syrian dictator Bashar al Asad to retain power.  The last President with an obviously effective and successful foreign policy against Moscow was Ronald Reagan.

So, who would Putin pick as his favorite President?  Maybe we should hear what Putin has to say.  In fact, we have.  Several news sources – although not the committed leftwing Biden press corps – reported that Putin said he preferred Biden as President over Trump in the 2024 presidential election.  Yep!  Putin is on Team Biden – so he says.

According to Putin, Biden is more experienced and more predictable.  He called him a “politician of the old formation” – whatever the hell that means.  In self-effacing humor, Putin even said that Biden was correct in referring to him as “a crazy SOB.” 

One has to admit that Putin has done very well with Biden in the Oval Office.  For whatever it is worth, he did not invade Ukraine until Biden took office.  Putin seemed to have seen a weakness in Biden’s international policies.

So … how are we to take Putin’s comments?  Did he mean what he said?  Or did play a little reverse psychology – believing that his “endorsement” would hurt Biden? 

That seemed to be the thinking behind White House National Security Advisor John Kirby’s response to Putin’s Biden endorsement.   “I think Mr. Putin knows very well what this administration has been doing to counter Russia’s malign influence around the world and certainly what they’ve been doing inside Ukraine.”    One can assume that Kirby meant how MUCH the Biden administration was doing to push back against Putin.  Perhaps Puten prefers Biden because of how LITTLE he is doing to curtail Russian aggression – and the general weakness Biden has displayed across his foreign policy agenda.

Kirby summed it up with, “Putin should stay out of our elections.”  Indeed, he should.

Putin added that he can work with an American president.  In that, I fear he is correct.  It seems obvious that neither Biden nor Trump is taking Putin’s ambitions and threats sufficiently serious at the moment.

Personally, I do not believe Putin has a favorite American President.  Trump and Biden are just two different guys he would have to manipulate in different ways.  No matter who is President – or how they may view Putin – his obsessive interest is to knock the American eagle off the top perch of world leadership. Putin’s sole interest is to create a new world order in which the anti-democratic leaders of China. Iran and North Korea – and an increasing number of acolyte nations, such as Cuba and Venezuela — take over.  A world in which the old Soviet Union empire is re-established.

Putin is a narcissistic megalomaniac – meaning his favorite president is … Putin.

So, there ’tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.