Whoa Whoa Whoa, Russian State TV Threatened What? Little Deeper Look

Vox / YouTube Trump and Putin A surreal moment...
Vox / YouTube

The invaluable and indefatigable Ursula Faw reported that Russian State TV had a little message for President Trump. She reported it as the story broke and few details were available beyond the quote itself. Indeed, there is still little, but there’s enough for me to look at this a little more closely.

Might as well start with the Tweet reporting the statement:

Okay, wait. The statement from Tretyakov contains three assumptions/ or premises that we desperately need to highlight and question, quite seriously. We may as well just take them in order of appearance.

First, though big time media is very powerful in the U.S., none of them have the power to speak for the U.S. government (never mind a professor teaching journalism), but Russia does actually have state TV, meaning that representatives from the government do oversee what goes out to the Russian people, on, and increasingly the American people since all news Russia starts in the Russian media. Thus, this statement, though at first blush seems like it might’ve come from “just some guy” actually isn’t. It is actually much more like an official statement from the Russian Government.

Of course, the official Russian Government couldn’t make a statement like that, not without practically admitting a role in getting Trump elected last time based upon an agreement to do what Russia wants. So, what to do? Release the same statement through the State media, there will be no confusion as to who issued the statement, who is speaking here. It is Putin and his lackeys.

Next, “let’s turn this into a headache for Trump.” Note that it is not “let’s make this a headache for the United States – since it is our nation that is putting sanctions in place, not a person, because that is sort of the way we role in our constitution. Yet the statement does not state that they are going to make the United States regret these sanctions, only Trump. That’s ummm …highly personal? It’s also highly unusual, that a foreign state would see international relations with the United States as involving one person and one only.

No, it does not matter that Trump implemented these “sanctions” on his own, several reports indicated that Trump did so to head off stricter sanctions out of Congress. So, even though the executive branch – Trump – issued the sanctions, it is not like Russia would have gotten away sanction free, but for Trump.

Last, and most gobsmacking, the “if you want our support, do what we say.” Most U.S. presidents would semi-laugh and note that the single last thing he/she wants is Russian support. But, most presidents don’t have the history Trump does with Russia. The statement is clearly premised upon the fact that Trump has, or until just recently HAD the Russian’s support, and it relieved him of many headaches.

Remarkably, the statement concludes with a threat, that if Trump wants to get back to that headache free zone, they order him to do Russia’s bidding! “Do what we say.” Obama would STILL be laughing if he received a message like that. Trump might be crying, or at least shaking. The other thing the threat implicitly conveys is that Russia is quite comfortable with telling Trump what to do, and expects him to do it, lest he lose their support and gain a headache.

So, what.the.fck?

Remember, nothing comes out of Russian state TV without approval of the government minders, and again, the Russian government couldn’t come out and say this, so this is the next best thing.

There is one last possibility here. We have been warned by an analyst – a specialist in dictatorial regimes, whose name I cannot remember, she was on MSNBC a couple weeks ago – warning us that should there be a Blue Wave in November, prepare for the Republicans to come out and say it was the Russians and contest the election, not concede as Hillary did.

That sounds very Republican-like. If the Russians and Trump administration anticipates a blue wave, and they are wanting to counter that now to some degree, what better way to start than by telling Trump that they will not “support” him and will create “headaches” as something for Republicans to point to when they refuse to concede and cry that Russia supported the Democrats.

But all of that is premised upon an even crazier presumption, though it is increasingly believable; that being that the Russians have the ability to mess with our elections to a degree where they’re picking sides as to whom they want to have a headache.

We have known that Russia had a very significant role in the 2016, at least since Mueller’s indictment, and now Russia seems quite willing to come out and state that their support is critical to one’s chances, but premised upon doing what they say.

That one statement just has so much stuff to unpack within it that I am still stunned. I am actually leaning toward believing that the statement is intended to give Trump some cover going into the November elections. I say that because if they really wanted Trump to reverse the sanctions, or not have them at all, that could easily have been communicated to Trump with a phone call or personal message (Rand Paul was right there). But, by giving the message publicly, they practically ensure that Trump can’t do anything about the sanctions because if he does, it makes it look like he just folded, not wanting a headache and backing down from the threat.

We have definitely entered a new era, where Russians believe that they have the ability and the right to order the American president to do as they say.

So weird.  I am SURE there will be much more on this as the weekend goes on.

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If the Ruskies can screw with our elections imagine what they could do to just Trump!