Fintan O'Toole: Trump does and says pretty much what Putin wants him to do

The humiliation of Trump is the greatest revenge drama since ‘Hamlet’.

US president Donald Trump and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin attend a joint press conference after a meeting  in Helsinki, on Monday. Photgraph:  Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US president Donald Trump and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin attend a joint press conference after a meeting in Helsinki, on Monday. Photgraph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Misery loves company. Under Vladimir Putin, Russian democracy has become a miserable fig leaf for kleptocratic and authoritarian rule. Putin has been highly successful in his search for company, helping to spawn mini-me regimes across much of the world. But even he must find it hard to fathom just how far the United States has moved towards him. The public spectacle of Donald Trump’s obsequiousness in Helsinki on Monday must have been, for Putin, like being in fantasy version of The Jungle Book in which Trump’s monkey king serenades him with I Wanna Be Like You.

Well, the dirty family secret is well and truly out now

In June 2016, the day after news broke that Russian military intelligence had penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee, Paul Ryan, speaker of the US House of Representatives and effective leader of the Republican Party, discussed Russia with his party’s members of congress. The House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, was recorded saying: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

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