The Kremlin troll who loves Trump

Kremlin mouthpiece Konstantin Rykov said Wednesday in a Twitter post that Trump won the first Democratic presidential debate, held Tuesday in Las Vegas. In that tweet, Rykov linked to a Russian language, pro-Trump website with a Russian domain, www.Trump2016.ru, that he is likely behind. Until a few weeks ago, Rykov’s Twitter home page featured Trump and his 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Western sources who monitor Russian politics told the Washington Examiner that Rykov is a propagandist arm of the Putin government machine. “Rykov is considered to be one of the leading pro-Kremlin bloggers in Russia,” said Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Obama who is now a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank. “As you can see from his Twitter feed, he is very active. And he loves Trump.”…

The international political figures that Rykov plays up, said the source, “tend to express views that are more friendly to the Kremlin,” at least as far as Moscow is concerned. These figures also tend to be “supportive of engagement” with Russia, if not outright apologists for what others describe as Putin’s aggressive foreign policy and repressive measures at home.