POLITICS

Putin reaches out to Trump, while thumping Dems

Russian president discusses US election results in end-of-year news conference

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin followed up a warm letter to Donald Trump with a more terse message for U.S. Democrats Friday: Don't blame me for your November drubbing.

President-elect Trump on Friday released the Dec. 15 note from Putin, who Democrats blame for tilting the election Trump won against Hillary Clinton, and called it a "very nice letter."

In it, Putin wished Trump "warmest Christmas" greetings and expressed hope that Trump would "bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level."

In addition to praising the tone of the letter from Putin, Trump said, "His thoughts are so correct. I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path."

But Putin, in a year-ending address from Moscow Friday, had a different message for Democrats as he offered his analysis of the American political scene.

“Democrats are losing on every front and looking for people to blame everywhere," he said. "They need to learn to lose with dignity.

“The Democratic Party lost not only the presidential elections, but elections in the Senate and Congress. .…Is that also my work?” he said.

He went on to ridicule Democrats for never-say-die efforts to overturn the Nov. 8 presidential election, first by calling for recounts, then trying to get electors to flip.

"The fact that the current ruling party called Democratic has blatantly forgotten the original definition of its name is evident if one takes into consideration unscrupulous use of administrative resource and appeals to electors not to concede to voters’ choice," Putin said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

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The former KGB officer even invoked President Ronald Reagan, the staunch anti-communist who worked with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to end the Cold War in the 1980s.

"I think Reagan would have been glad to see representatives of his party winning everywhere," the president said. "And he would have been happy for the newly elected president [Donald Trump], who was sensitive enough to feel the moods of the society and worked exactly within that paradigm, going to the end, though nobody but you and I believed that he would win."

"Outstanding figures in American history from the ranks of the Democratic Party would likely be turning in their graves. [Franklin D.] Roosevelt certainly would be."

Supporters of defeated Democratic standard-bearer Hillary Clinton have cited alleged Russian “hacking” of the election for her surprising loss on Nov. 8.

Putin moved back his news conference a day to attend the funeral of his ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated at an Ankara art gallery in a brazen public shooting by a Turkish policeman shouting slogans about the war in Syria.