The following is an overview of statements on the U.S. presidential elections that appeared in the Russian media or were made by officials:
Pushkov Tweet Mania:
Senator and former chair of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma, Aleksey Pushkov, (@Alexey_Pushkov) wrote in his Twitter account: "According to various estimates more than 1.8 million 'dead souls' will participate in the U.S. elections. The dead won't vote for Trump. You should ask the dead about the outcomes of these elections."
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, November 1, 2016)
In another tweet, Pushkov wrote: "The goal of the informational policy of the Obama administration is to raise anti-Russian hysteria to the level of 1950s. Clinton, as Cold War ideas supporter, acts alike."
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, November 2, 2016)
Senator Pushkov also wrote in his Twitter account: "Many Americans, who are 'disgusted' by Trump's sex-lexicon, risk the lives of their sons in the wars that the US will be involved in, should Clinton be elected".
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, October 16, 2016)
The Quote That Had Amanpour In Stitches:
On October 12, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN International.
Amanpour: "Can I just file one last question? One last question, a bit cheeky but I'm going to ask you. Russia had its own Pussy Riot moment. What do you think of Donald Trump's Pussy Riot moment?"
Sergey Lavrov: "Well, I don't know whether this would... English is not my mother tongue and I don't know whether I would sound decent. There are so many pussies around your presidential campaign on all sides that I prefer not to comment."
Amanpour: "Oh, my goodness! I wasn't expecting that! All right, thank you again."
(Mid.ru, October 12, 2016)
Lavrov during the interview with Amanpour. (Source: Mid.ru, October 12)
On October 16, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists following the BRICS Summit.
Question: "Mr. President, did you know you are featured in the new episode of the cartoon The Simpsons? You are boosting Trump in it. What is your actual preference? You have been asked many times - Clinton or Trump? And one more question: the U.S. Vice President [Joe Biden] said recently that we cannot influence the U.S. election results. Frankly, are we even trying to interfere? Do we even need to?"
Vladimir Putin: "What did he say, precisely? We cannot fundamentally affect them. So the reporter needed to press him: not fundamentally, or not at all? He seemed to be acknowledging that we actually could play a role, but I would like to reassure you all, including our American partners and friends: we have no plans to influence the election campaign in the United States.
"The answer is very simple: we do not know what will happen after the U.S .President is elected. Ms. Clinton chose her aggressive rhetoric and aggressive stance with regard to Russia, and Mr. Trump, on the contrary, is calling for cooperation, at least against terrorism.
"We will certainly welcome anyone who wants to work with us, and no, we are not interested in quarrelling constantly with anyone, which only creates threats to oneself and the world, or at the very least makes it harder to achieve the desired results in the fight against terrorism.
"We do not know what will happen after the election. We do not know whether or not presidential candidate Trump will follow through on his intentions, how far he will go in cooperation with us, whether Ms. Clinton will stick to her harsh anti-Russian rhetoric if she is elected President, or maybe she will also adjust her position. We cannot know this now.
"I will repeat this again: sacrificing Russian-American relations for the sake of internal political events in the US is harmful and counterproductive. This is not the first time. Look at all the previous election campaigns - it's the same story again and again, as I said.
"And then they whisper in our ear: 'Just wait it out. This will pass, and things will go back to normal.' You know, this is not even funny anymore. But if someone wants a confrontation, it is not our choice. Confrontation means problems. We do not want that. On the contrary, we would like to find common ground and work together to address global challenges facing Russia and the United States and the world."
(Kremlin.ru, October 16, 2016)
See Video: Homer Votes 2016 | Season 28 | THE SIMPSONS
On June 17, 2016, Russia's President Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The plenary session was followed by Q&As, moderated by CNN host Fareed Zakaria.
Zakaria: "Let me ask you, Mr President, about another democracy that is having a very different kind of drama. You made some comments about the American Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. You called him brilliant, outstanding, talented. These comments were reported around the world. I was wondering, what in him led you to that judgment, and do you still hold that judgment?"
Vladimir Putin: "You are well known in our country, you personally. Not only as a host of a major TV corporation, but also as an intellectual. Why are you distorting everything? The journalist in you is getting the better of the analyst. Look, what did I say? I said in passing that Trump is a vivid personality. Is he not? He is. I did not ascribe any other characteristics to him. However, what I definitely note and what I definitely welcome - and I see nothing wrong about this, just the opposite - is that Mr. Trump said that he is ready for the full-scale restoration of Russian-US relations. What is wrong with that? We all welcome this! Don't you?"
Zakaria: "...Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. In your very long questions and answers with the Russian people, you made a joke when somebody asked you about her - you said, I think that the Russia idiom is, the husband and wife is the same devil. And what it means in the English version is, it's two sides of the same coin. What did you mean by that, and how did she do as Secretary of State? You dealt with her extensively."
Vladimir Putin: "I did not work with her, Lavrov did. Ask him. He is sitting here. I was not a foreign minister, but Sergey Lavrov was. He will soon tie [Soviet Foreign Minister Andrey] Gromyko. (Addressing Sergey Lavrov.) How long have you been in office?
I worked with Bill Clinton, although for a very short time, and we had a very good relationship. I can even say that I am grateful to him for certain moments as I was entering the big stage in politics. On several occasions, he showed signs of attention, respect for me personally, as well as for Russia. I remember this and I am grateful to him..."
(Kremlin.ru, June 17, 2016)
MEMRI TV Clips:
Senior Russian TV host Dmitri Kisiliov said that the Democrats would be likely to falsify the elections results in Clinton's favor, but that in the event of a Trump win, they would blame the results on Putin. He was speaking on the Russia 1 federal TV channel on October 30.
(MEMRI TV Clip No. 5734, October 30, 2016)
Senior TV host Dimitri Kisiliov said that "the American establishment is merciless" and that given Donald Trump's stance on Russia, he may be killed.
(MEMRI TV Clip No. 5670, September 11, 2016)
MEMRI Special Dispatches:
Ahead of the US elections, a member of the State Duma's International Committee, Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov was interviewed by Komsomolskaya Pravda's live radio broadcast on Russia-US relations and on his vision of Russian society.
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6667, November 7, 2016)
Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the final session of the Valdai International Discussion Club's 13th annual meeting in a session lasting three-and-a-half hours. This year's theme was: "The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow." Concerning US-Russia relations, Putin described as 'hysteria" the US" accusations that Russia is meddling in the American presidential elections. Putin said: "You would think that the election debates would concentrate on these and other unresolved problems, but the elite has nothing with which to reassure society, it seems, and therefore attempt to distract public attention by pointing instead to supposed Russian hackers, spies, agents of influence and so forth." He then added: "I have to ask myself and ask you too: Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people's choice? America is not some kind of 'banana republic', after all, but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong."
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6658, November 1, 2016)
The Director General of the pro-Kremlin Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Andrey Kortunov, posted on the website of the pro-Kremlin think-tank Valdai Club an overview of the present relations between Russia and the United States. Concerning the two presidential candidates, Kortunov defined Hillary as a "predictable secondary school teacher," whereas Donald Trump is more likely is more likely to surprise the international community, and described him as the "troublemaker in the back of the class." However, regardless of the outcome, Kortunov assessed that the election is bound to put US.-.Russia relations on hold at least to late January.
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6657, October 31, 2016)
The main cartoons' leitmotif is that both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump are inadequate for the job of U.S. president. There is no shared monolithic view shared by Russian politicians and political commentators, but Trump is perceived as someone who can foster U.S.-Russia relations. Chairman of the Upper House Committee for Foreign Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, said that Trump has little political experience and he does not yet understand that spontaneous decisions are not always optimal ones, even though Trump's victory would open "a window of possibilities" between Russia and the U.S.
(Special Dispatch No.6555, August 4, 2016)
Vitaly Podvitsky, Sputniknews.com, July 27, 2016.
Sputniknews.com comments on the above cartoon: "Despite all the skeletons in her closet, Hillary Clinton was officially nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. It seems like nothing can stop the first ever female presidential candidate from being nominated, except herself which is quite apparent from the recent DNC email leak?"
The cartoons envision Obama inter alia working as a waiter at McDonald's and as a pizza delivery boy, once his term of office as U.S. president expires.
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6538, July 22, 2016)
Twitter.com/13studiya, March 7, 2016.
November 2016. Obama: "I'll be back"
January 2017. Obama delivering a pizza to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: "I told you that I'll be back!"
Igor Ivanov, the President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and a former Russian Federation foreign affairs minister (1998-2004) attempted to prepare his readers for Hillary Clinton's expected victory. Ivanov realizes that Russian public and elite opinion dislikes Clinton as "obsessed with human rights" and believes that Donald Trump can turn the page on US-Russia relations as he is not bound by Obama's legacy. Moreover, the Russian elites have bitter memories of former U.S. president Bill Clinton whom they view as the architect of NATO's eastward expansion into countries that were formerly Warsaw Pact members or Soviet republics.
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6535, July 21, 2016)
Twitter.com/sharzhipero, May 23, 2016.
On the table badges: candidate Hillary Clinton, candidate Donald Trump.
Statue of Liberty: Can I see all of them [all candidates for the U.S. presidency]?
U.S. President Barack Obama: That's all of them
Statue of Liberty: Oh, f**k..
Rotislav Ischenko, an analyst for 'Russia Today' had an interesting take on the American elections. While the Russian public prefers Trump because he is viewed as an antagonist of the American elite epitomized by Hillary Clinton, Ischenko is rooting for Clinton.
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6529, July 19, 2016)
On April 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered questions from the nation in his annual Q&A session on the Direct Line program broadcast live on Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels, and Mayak, VestiFM and Radio Rossii radio stations. During the Direct Line, Putin said: "First [U.S. President George H. W.] Bush Sr. was in power there, later on [U.S. President George W.] Bush Jr. - all from the same family. [U.S. President Bill] Clinton was in power for two terms and now his wife is laying claim to this position, and the family may remain in office. What does this have to do with turnover? As the saying goes, 'Husband and wife are a single devil,' and they will be at the helm. I am not saying this is all bad. There are pros and cons to it."
(MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6391, April 19, 2016)