Russia doesn't want Bernie Sanders, it wants chaos

Sanders did vote against the Magnitsky Act in 2012, a notorious Putin bugaboo, which could arguably make him a more palatable candidate to the Kremlin. But the distinction between Russia’s support for Trump and Sanders then, as now, is that Russia wanted only Trump to win. Promoting Sanders was simply another means to that end, driving a wedge between two already fraught factions of the Democratic Party…

The 2020 playbook remains the same, say Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who studies Russian interference efforts: Elevate Trump, play up that Sanders got a raw deal, and tear down the leading institutional Democrat—then Clinton, now Biden and Bloomberg. Instead of Jill Stein, 2020 has Tulsi Gabbard, who has not left the race and whom Russian media, Watts says, regularly praises.

“The Kremlin’s strategy for a year has been very straightforward,” Watts says. “They would like to see Trump reelected.”