Photographer: Jeremy Liebman/Bloomberg Businessweek
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg: Putin Doesn't Get American Politics
President Vladimir Putin is watching the U.S. election campaign with a mixture of irony, disgust and imperfect understanding. Just as American presidents and senators are not well-versed in Russian politics, Putin, too, is no expert on foreign arenas. He regards the current U.S. political show just as any ordinary guy would -- even though the election outcome is extremely important to him.
In an interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, Putin's mocking misunderstanding of the U.S. electoral process was on full display. Asked whether Russia had anything to do with the recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the subsequent publication of stolen emails on Wikileaks, Putin added this to the expected denial:
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WNU Editor: Being someone who lives in both the West and in Russia .... and who follows politics of both countries very closely .... there is a lot of truth to the above commentary by Leonid Bershidsky. Russia's political and foreign establishments have trouble understanding American politics, and their instincts on what is happening are usually wrong. But I would also add a caveat .... Americans also do not understand Russian politics, and in some cases are even more ignorant on what is happening in Russia than what the Russians are see happening in the West.