Trump is many things… but he’s not the Tribune of the Evangelicals… thank the good God…
Donald Trump’s stunning upset in the US elections Tuesday night prompted an almost endless source of telling reactions from people from all walks of life and corners of the globe. Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is just one of them. McFaul, who resigned from that post in 2014, was active on Twitter on election night. Moments before the vote count was in, he tweeted, presumably sarcastically:
If Trumps wins, I’ll be first to congratulate him.
After the announcement that Trump was the president-elect, McFaul did congratulate the mogul-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-US-president:
Congratulations President-elect Trump.
McFaul’s next tweet was:
I’m in shock, but the American people have spoken.
Apparently, that shock is what prompted what came next. At first, McFaul seemed coherent, even posting some ideas on foreign policy:
Biggest loser in the world tonight is the Ukraine. Your only hope is to get really serious about reform and keep Euros supportive.
It’s hard to argue with that, given that US Vice President Joseph Biden, known for his close contact with Ukrainian President Poroshenko, is on his way out, no doubt along with other Obama Administration officials behind that country’s coup. Perhaps, concrete predictions are unwise now, but Trump said enough during his campaign to suggest that the USA is likely to reduce its intervention in other states’ internal affairs. Then, things got weird. Two hours after the vote count was over, McFaul congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, Sputnik International (thanks, Ambassador!), and activist Mariya Katasonova, with the Trump victory. We don’t know exactly why he picked that particular cast of characters, although in his acceptance speech, Trump did set something of a peacemaking tone:
We’ll seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.
Putin expressed a willingness to work together to improve bilateral relations with Washington, and perhaps Trump’s victory does indicate international tensions, perpetually tightened over the course of Obama’s presidency, may loosen. As for Sputnik, we’re flattered, but we think you misplaced your congrats. Dear Ambassador McFaul, Sputnik News Agency didn’t work on behalf of Donald Trump’s victory, so, whilst we appreciate the credit, we certainly don’t deserve anything of the sort. With the US mainstream media praising ad nauseam Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, lulling the American public into a false sense of security in a Clinton win, we were only doing our jobs… telling the untold. Thanks to the selective approach taken by many of our colleagues in the States, we are never very short of things to tell. Evidently, however, McFaul meant to lump Sputnik into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election. The former envoy tweeted, then deleted… but not before a number of people responded:
Putin intervened in our elections and succeeded. [Good job].
Simonyan’s reply was:
Doctor, you flatter me.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mariya Zakharova was more thorough in a response on Facebook:
First, the Obama Administration appointed these “McFauls” to positions of responsibility, and entrusted to them the management of not only their own country, but many vassal states, and when the situation came to stalemate, it started shouting that Moscow is to blame for everything.
After McFaul deleted his post, he claimed that he had heard “better arguments”, and that “facts and logic matter to him”. After a massive campaign to blame Russia, without evidence, of interfering in the race, we’re not so sure about those facts and logic to which you refer, Mr Ambassador.
10 November 2016