The Useful Idiot

Alexander Vindman, a former Army officer and National Security Director of European Affairs who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine as a child and is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian, played a key role in the impeachment of Trump, who in retaliation ruined Vindman’s Army career. In a recent interview by Jeffrey Goldberg, of the Atlantic, Vindman commented that “Trump is Putin’s useful idiot.”

Trump has expressed his admiration for Putin, and has proven his sincerity in that respect by never criticizing Putin and invariably defending him. Putin seized the Crimea: nothing worth making a fuss over, as far as Trump is concerned; Putin pays bounties to the Taliban as a reward for killing American soldiers: Ho hum, as far as Trump is concerned: Putin poisons another of his political enemies: Oh, it can’t be true, as far as Trump is concerned.

Does Trump ever think about how he is Putin’s useful idiot? The thought may have flickered across his mind for half a second, but he’s adept at suppressing his humiliation and perfidy by directing his rage at critics and opponents. Putin could not have found a more useful idiot.