Trump’s presidency appears hijacked by the U.S. obsession with Russia, one senior Kremlin official said. Four months into his term, after an election victory greeted with euphoria in Moscow, his fate looks increasingly uncertain to Kremlin policy makers, two other people familiar with the matter said. All asked not to be identified discussing internal issues.
U.S. media often present Russian interference in the 2016 election as a victory for Putin in undermining his country’s principal adversary. But for the Kremlin, the continuing furor makes it impossible to get business done with the U.S. on key issues ranging from resolving the war in Syria to lobbying for an end to sanctions over the Ukrainian conflict.
“Hope is slowly draining away,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who runs the Foreign & Defense Policy Council, an advisory body to the Kremlin. It will be “totally impossible to have any dealings” with the U.S. if Trump is impeached and replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, who’s “very conservative and fairly aggressive” toward Russia, he said.