Why the Christian right has embraced Putin

Putin would be a prize of another order. American fundamentalists admire his anti-LGBTQ crusades, his revival of the Russian Orthodox Church, his “family values” lip service, his bare-chested manliness. The GOP, observed Butina in The National Interest, a conservative foreign-policy publication, “derives much of its support from social conservatives … and those that support an aggressive approach to the war against Islamic terrorism. These are values espoused by [Putin’s] United Russia.”

Most of all, they admire Putin’s strength — and they’re glad at last to have an American leader who hits just as hard, even if he may be nearly as corrupt.

At a 2017 Prayer Breakfast in Moscow, Doug Burleigh — a current Fellowship leader and lifelong Russia hand — appeared alongside Butina’s handler, Alexander Torshin, to declare “a breakthrough in relations between Russia and the US is about occur.

“I believe,” the Fellowship leader continued, “that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will yet become friends.”