This Bloomberg article, written by Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov, and Irina Reznik, makes an excellent point. I have seen many people–even on the left!–prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton on account of her alleged tendencies as a warmonger. If Trump’s election actually was the culmination of a gambit by Putin to try to install a pro-Russian figure in Washington D.C., it seems that this will end as badly for Russia as Putin’s other gambits. The man simply does a terrible job of predicting negative consequences and second-order effects of even victories. In the particular case of Trump, the appearance of a badly compromised president may be encouraging a bipartisan consensus against Russia, to say nothing of the dim prospects that a man known for petty vendettas and cheating his business partners may not be a good partner for Russia.
Russia is giving Donald Trump the kind of fawning television coverage usually reserved for Vladimir Putin, with its most popular propagandist hailing the president-elect this week as “a man of his word.”
But inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in the White House is giving way to skepticism that any meaningful detente with the U.S. can be achieved, according to four senior officials in Moscow.
Swirling controversies over alleged Putin-ordered hacking to help Trump get elected and a leaked dossier claiming the Kremlin has blackmail material on him has transfixed Washington, where a bill to impose even harsher sanctions on Russia is gaining bipartisan support. The backlash appears to have forced many of Trump’s cabinet picks to take tougher lines on Russia in their confirmation hearings than the Kremlin anticipated, the people said.
The unprecedented firestorm is a double-edged sword for Putin, who’s spent the last 16 years trying to restore some semblance of his country’s lost superpower status — while Russia is back at the center of U.S. attention, the uproar has energized Putin’s critics, according to Alexei Chesnakov, a former senior Kremlin staffer who continues to advise authorities.
“There is a sensible shift of expectations in the Kremlin,” Chesnakov said in an interview. “The leadership understands clearly now that restoring ties won’t be easy and that more scandals will worsen the chances.”