The autocratic leader linked to murders of journalists and critics isn’t generally regarded in the U.S. as the best judge of justice. Nevertheless, Trump tweeted a news story late Friday about Putin defending the president against impeachment. Trump added his own comment: “A total witch hunt!”
Putin on Thursday insisted that Trump’s impeachment was based on “completely fabricated reasons.” Russian state media followed Putin’s lead.
Trump’s tweet was a bit surprising given suspicions about Putin’s influence on Trump — and the Kremlin’s attempt to undermine American democracy by meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Former White House aides have said they believe Putin was the source of the debunked (and self-serving) conspiracy theory to Trump that it was Ukraine — not Russia — that meddled in the election. That set Trump up for a skewed relationship with Ukraine that led to his impeachment.
Twitter critics were agog Trump cited Putin as an impressive defender.