No Collusion

Russia's top election trollmeister bewails his diminishing influence over Donald Trump.

From: Yevgeny Prigozhin
To: President and Supreme Leader For Life Vladimir Putin
Re: Our 2020 project

I wonder whether you might have a word with Comrade Trump with regard to the forthcoming presidential election. He is not doing enough, I feel, to protect our investment.

My complaint does not concern his many achievements for us in the past—weakening NATO, pulling out of the World Health Organization, inviting you back into the G-7, sowing economic and public-health mayhem throughout the Covid-19 crisis. These policies more than justify the considerable outlay of rubles we poured into electing him in 2016.

Rather, my concern is whether Trump will remain useful to us in the future. He simply won’t follow our instructions with regard to the November election.

Joe Biden, I’m sure you’ve seen, has moved into a double-digit lead that Nate Cohn of the New York Times calls “large enough to withstand another 2016 polling meltdown.” I need hardly remind you that Biden is a gaffe-prone near-octagenarian whose previous two nomination bids were softer than a cheese blintz. Under normal circumstances, our Glavset trolls would eat Biden for breakfast.

But  circumstances in the United States are far from normal. The 2020 campaign cycle is rapidly shaping up into a debacle for Trump, for the Senate Republican majority, for Glavset, and for Mother Russia. American Asset Number One is depreciating so fast that he won’t likely possess any value at all on January 20.

“Donald,” we’ve pleaded. “This is a marathon, not a sprint. You must pace yourself!”

But he does he listen?

We told him not to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence. Comrade Stone’s inept handling of the Wikileaks matter—shooting off his mouth to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, to InfoWars, and to potential clients about the assistance he gave—made him worthless to us. Stone’s public pledge of omertà made the commutation look like the act of a Mafia don, just like we told Trump it would. Roger is lucky we let him live. (As you know, this was the subject of much internal debate, but in the end Comrade Manafort’s pleas for leniency carried the day.)

Taking potshots at Anthony Fauci, as Trump and his apparatchiks have lately done, was catastrophically stupid, creating sympathy for a respected figure we’d taken pains to exile silently from the Oval Office. Trump’s public insistence that the Covid-19 threat had passed, when clearly it had not, alienated elderly voters on whom we counted in 2016. Why was this necessary? We were already subverting public health policy very quietly by sidelining the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Now there’s some danger these agencies will regain their former influence and prestige. 

What a difference four years make. The June 16 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald, Jr., couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Trump hired as campaign manager our dear friend Paul Manafort. Some unfortunate pro-Ukraine language in the GOP platform was successfully made to disappear. The release of John Podesta’s emails to deflect attention from Access Hollywood’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape went off without a hitch. The pee tape we managed, through fast work, to bury. (That was a close one!)

Later, Trump’s drumbeat mantra of “No collusion!” before and after the Mueller Report came out-- in the face of overwhelming evidence that of course we colluded with him--muddied the waters splendidly. Withholding aid to Ukraine unless President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to stage an investigation of Hunter Biden was a daring move we won’t soon forget.  Regrettably, it triggered Trump’s eventual impeachment, but who even remembers that now? 

Since then, though, our patient instructions to American Asset Number One on how to secure a second term have fallen on deaf ears. Trump thinks he doesn’t need us anymore. Trump thinks he doesn’t need anyone anymore! 

Instead of following our advice as he did in 2016,  Trump is flailing madly as his approval rating (never high to begin with) sinks like a stone. Would you believe he’s got some 30-year-old conducting internal loyalty tests so heavy-handed that the American press immediately found out about them? Not once did he avail himself of our deep well of experience in such matters. 

Please talk to him, Supreme Leader. You’re our last hope. If we can’t turn Trump around, we’re headed for our biggest electoral debacle since Comrade Wallace took it on the chin in 1948. If Trump loses, he’ll return to his real estate business, and I know promises have been made to keep it out of bankruptcy. But I’d advise you to reconsider these in light of his current actions. We had reason to expect a second term to solidify our gains in the first. Instead, we risk a serious hit to our ambitions and prestige. Here’s a guy who could have really gone the distance. He could have been the next Bashar al-Assad! Now he looks more like the next, what was that Grenada fellow’s name? Maurice Bishop. What a waste!