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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland on Monday as controversy raged over the investigation into the Russian president’s covert role in the 2016 election of his US counterpart.

As he went into an early breakfast with Finnish president Sauli Niinistö at the palace, Trump sought to reassure reporters about his meeting with Putin, “We’ll do fine,” he said.

But only hours before, Trump had sent out a characteristic blast on Twitter, blaming the current difficulties between the US and Russia on opposition to the former Soviet spy’s conduct and policies — not on Putin’s electoral meddling and imperial incursions.

In a fulsome early morning tweet he complained: “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” That final phase is of course Trump’s favorite way to describe the special counsel probe of possible collusion between Russia and his campaign  — which led to the Justice Department’s announcement last Friday of the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officials.

“President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it,” Trump also tweeted. “When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok,” referring to Peter Strzok, an FBI agent who wrote texts critical of Trump and was later removed from the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Kremlin had the last word, just before the Putin-Trump meeting began, when it retweeted Trump’s message on US relations with Russia, adding: “We agree.”

 

 

 

 

 

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)