Donald Trump is an expert at self-fulfilling prophecy.
He proved it with his recently leaked deranged rant demanding a moat filled with alligators and snakes be built along the border wall he so desperately wants. That medieval fantasy proved former President Barack Obama prescient when he jokingly made the most outrageous claim he could think of when ridiculing Republican attitudes towards immigration.
In 2011, Obama mocked the GOP, suggesting they'd want a border moat full of alligators.
Trump made it reality.
Obama: "Maybe they'll need a moat. [roaring laughter] Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat." pic.twitter.com/ABkGNSU2PH
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 2, 2019
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If that’s not enough evidence for you to conclude that Trump makes paranoid nightmares come true, consider the president’s ubiquitous claim during his presidential campaign that the world was laughing at America. It was an accusation that Trump had been making for years as he planned the assault on globalism that would become the center of his “America First” campaign theme.
We should immediately stop sending our beautiful American tax dollars to countries that hate us and laugh at our President’s stupidity!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2014
Today, we have evidence that — whether or not foreign leaders were laughing at America during the Obama era — Trump’s presidency has inspired abundant hilarity in the halls of overseas capitals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin could barely contain his mirth while he was attending a panel discussion during Russian Energy Week when he was asked by a reporter about whether his country had any intention of meddling in the next U.S. presidential election.
According to CNN, Putin replied with an exaggerated stage whisper as he answered the question about another round of electoral interference.
“I’ll tell you a secret: Yes, we’ll definitely do it,” Putin said. “Just don’t tell anyone,” he added conspiratorially.
The Russian president apparently finds the topic infinitely amusing, particularly since his reply directly confirmed Donald Trump’s deepest paranoid fears of being the butt of jokes at his own expense.
The rest of America responded quite differently — with fears that the 2020 elections may be as compromised as the 2016 contest was eventually revealed to be.
Putin grew more serious when he discussed Russia’s internal problems in a week when tens of thousands of protestors rallied in Moscow in the largest anti-Kremlin demonstrations in years.
“You know, we have enough of our own problems,” Putin said. “We are engaged in resolving internal problems and are primarily focused on this.”
The Russian president also weighed in on Trump’s Ukraine phone call scandal with a reference to his years as a KGB intelligence agent.
“Look, I haven’t been president all my life, but my previous life taught me that any of my conversation can become public,” he said about the Trump-Ukraine scandal and the subsequent impeachment inquiry. “I always proceed from this.”
“So when there were attempts to launch a scandal regarding my meeting with Trump in Helsinki — we directly told the administration to just publish it. If somebody wants to know something — just publish it, we don’t mind,” he added, contradicting reports that Russia would oppose the unilateral release of the conversations that were also hidden on a top secret classified server.
Putin also offered Trump a temporary fig leaf that may last until the actual transcript of their conversation is made public as he says says he’s willing to see happen.
“I assure you there was nothing that would have compromised President Trump there,” Putin said. “As far as I understand it, they haven’t done it out of principle, there are just some things that should not be public.”
We can be fairly certain that Trump agrees that “there are just some things that should not be public,” particularly if they unveil the extent of his collusion with the Russian president.
Putin can easily offer permission for Trump to release the tapes of their conversations, knowing full-well that the American president will never do so voluntarily and that if they are somehow made public after months of subpoenas and court battles, Trump’s goose will be by then so thoroughly cooked that he will be of little further use to his puppet master except as a Christmas dinner treat.
Whatever satisfaction Trump may gain at seeing his claims of America being a laughingstock be proved true, the knowledge that it is his own behavior that is the subject of the constant guffaws should make his vindication bittersweet, to say the least.
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Original reporting by Nathan Hodge, Olga Pavlova, and Mary Ilyushina at CNN.