I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country… I wouldn’t have invited him to my ranch, if I didn’t trust him.George W. Bush, C-SPAN, June 17, 2001
Please pass on my very best wishes to President Vladimir Putin, a man who I admire.George W. Bush, September 12, 2004
I do have a relationship with [Putin]… he has really eaten our president’s lunch, let’s not kid ourselves… He’s put himself at the forefront of the world as a leader… I think that Putin has done an amazing job of showing certain leadership that our people have not been able to match.Donald Trump, interviewed on MSNBC in November 2013
Peoples all over the world, claims Putin, are supporting Russia’s “defense of traditional values” against a “so-called tolerance” that is “genderless and infertile.”
While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.Pat Buchanan, op-ed at Townhall, December 17, 2013
If Russia is going to have a future, [Putin] must figure, it must be built on organic Russian traditions, which includes Orthodox Christianity […] Putin is playing a long game here, a game that is far more serious and consequential for the survival of his country than American culture warriors can see.Rod Dreher, American Conservative, December 18, 2013
Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea.Rand Paul, quoted in the Washington Post, February 26, 2014
There have been dramatic reforms in Russia that are not being recognized by my colleagues. The churches are full. There are opposition papers being distributed on every newsstand in Russia. You’ve got people demonstrating in the parks.Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, quoted in the New York Times, March 28, 2014
We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”Eric Trump, ca. early 2014, quoted by James Dodson on WBUR
In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.“Whose Side is God On Now?”, Patrick Buchanan, April 4, 2014
If Putin likes me and he thinks I’m a good, smart person, which you know, I hope he believes it—I am. Actually he’s right, I am brilliant.Donald Trump, quoted in Politico, December 19, 2015
The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email [to Donald Trump Jr.]… “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
[Trump Jr.] replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”Donald Trump, Jr., June 3, 2016, quoted in the New York Times
There’s two people I think Putin pays—Rohrabacher and Trump.Kevin McCarthy, June 15, 2016
Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled.Christopher Caldwell, The Claremont Institute, March 2017
(The conservative megadonors funneling money to Claremont include the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, The Sarah Scaife Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Donors Trust, Donors Capital Fund, and The Charles Koch Foundation.)
I think you’d be hard-pressed to say that sanctions against Russia are really working all that well […] I’ve been pretty upfront that the election interference — as serious as that was, and unacceptable — is not the greatest threat to our democracy. We’ve blown it way out of proportion.Sen. Ron Johnson, quoted in the Washington Examiner, July 7, 2018
[Trump said that] the member nations of NATO have “not treated us fairly” because “we pay far too much and they pay far too little.”[…] Referring to a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, Trump said, “Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all.”Washington Post, July 12, 2018
President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.
“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he replied.BBC, July 16, 2018
Volodymyr Zelensky: I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
Donald Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.CNN Transcript of Call between Zelensky and Trump, September 24, 2019
This time the defense is for the president’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, where Trump pressed his counterpart to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.
“I think it was a perfectly appropriate phone call, it was a congratulatory phone call,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican.KOTA-ABC, September 25, 2019
Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which by the way I am.Tucker Carlson, November 25, 2019
This is genius… Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine—Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. So, Putin is now saying, “It’s independent”… I said, “How smart is that?” And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper.Donald Trump, February 22, 2022, quoted in Vanity Fair
“Trump said Putin’s smart.” I mean, he’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.Donald Trump, February 28, 2022, quoted in the Washington Post
It is essential to use as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who sharply criticises the actions of the United States [and] Nato, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, [and] the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the eastern countries and Nato towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally.Russian Department of Information and Telecommunications Support, March 3, 2022
I think [Trump] emboldened Putin, because he could see that in the mind of the former president, Ukraine was just a pawn, and he was willing to use it to promote his own personal and political interests, rather than the national good, our national security interests.”Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, March 14, 2022
The Republican Party shares with Vladimir Putin a distaste for multicultural democracy, for women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, for voting rights, for press freedom and for individual liberty. Though their support may often be veiled, it had been accelerating for years before Trump entered the White House, and their aims remain in complete harmony.
ICYMI is a new project from the Brick House Cooperative, focusing on topics overlooked or ignored by conventional media. Look for it across all Brick House sites.