Why might the Russians want Trump to win?

  • The American CIA reportedly believes that the Russians, in the form of the Russian government and possibly private actors, went to signficant length (psych / cyber ops) to help Trump win.

    Having said that, could you provide a clear explanation of exactly why they would want that?

    The only explanation I've seen in the news is some vague reference to it having something to do with past business relationships with Russian billionaires. Is that complete/accurate?

    Is it just gratitude for past business deals or would they expect Trump to benefit them in the future as well (or is there some other element)? It couldn't have anything to do with his wife, could it? If not for the business relationships, I would've expected the Russians to prefer a Democrat, as Republicans are (in my perception) typically viewed as more aggressive towards rivals and less co-operative in international affairs.

    Note: Retrospectively this question is similar to a couple of others so I won't dispute it being marked as a dupe, but I think it's more broadly focused and has some good unique answers.

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.

  • While Trump in general has been supportive of Putin and the Russian government, there are several specific policy reasons that they supported him.

    Trump will weaken US commitment to NATO

    For Vladimir Putin, the election of Donald Trump may undermine the NATO military alliance. Trump has said that the U.S. would not automatically defend its treaty allies and that we might withdraw forces from Europe and Asia. This weakening of the U.S. commitment to NATO comes at a time when the military alliance is seeking to deter Russia from threatening to annex the Baltic nations, as it did the Crimea.

    New York Daily News

    Trump will consider recognizing Crimea as part of Russia

    Putin has rational motives for wanting Trump to win: Trump champions many foreign policies that Putin supports. Trump's most shocking, pro-Kremlin proposal is to "look into" recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. President Barack Obama and nearly every member of Congress — Republican and Democrat — have rejected that idea vigorously. Only Afghanistan, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela have recognized Russia's annexation of Crimea. Naturally, Putin would love to see the United States join that list.

    Chicago Tribune

    Trump's views on the dangers of ISIS that some feel are overblown help justify Russian military actions within Syria

    Trump likely doesn’t know it, but his (absurd) idea that ISIS could mount a coup against the U.S. government from within the country is once again a gift to Putin. The Russian leader has been justifying his decision to send Russian forces to Syria on the basis that it protects Russian citizens from future terrorist attacks and the Russian government from destabilization.

    The Fiscal Times

    Worth noting that in typical Trump fashion it really depends on what time of the day you ask him these things because he has gone back and forth on all of those points.

    Regarding NATO: he wants the other countries to pay up instead of the US giving freebies. If NATO won't right away, a country or two will fall (likely the Baltic) and then they'll do anything to gain protection.

    There are also a lot of speculative possible reasons why Russia might want Trump to win. For example, they might have blackmail material on him. They might have made a secret deal with him or someone close to him. He may have various business ties to people close to the Russian government. None of these things are provable, some of them are purely speculative, but some are backed by some circumstantial evidence.

    I do like your answer but the last point you make isn't supported by the text.

    @SirJony which is most definitely a Russian interest.

    You forgot: It's almost certain that Trump has *huge* debts to Russian banks, because no Western financial institution will do business with him because he's a terrible businessman.

    @KDog I've changed my last point. Let me know if that helps.

    @Thuderforge I don't think a scenario exists that an American President would be pro-ISIS.

    @KDog It wasn't my intention to say that he was pro-ISIS, rather that he felt they were dangerous. Is there a better way I can phrase this?

    @Thunderforge Check the headline now, I think this is more accurate.

    @Shadur - if you owe the banks $1000, that's YOUR problem. If you owe the bank $1,000,000,000, that's THEIR problem. They would WANT him to be successful, not fail, so he could pay them back.

    @HannoverFist Unless what they want for him is to cripple the US' ability to politically or economically compete and profit that way. It's not as if Trump has a habit of paying his bills or being successful at business when he can't skate out and saddle someone else with the bill...

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM