“America is in the grips of hatred,” the Russian television commentator Dmitry Kiselyov told viewers of the Rossiya 1 network on Sunday night. The popular host, appointed directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested the political discord could lead to violence in gun-friendly America — “a dangerous combination with free-flowing firearms,” he said.

It’s not that the Kremlin-controlled outlets which all but explicitly rooted for Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton last fall have changed their view of the New York mogul. It’s that Moscow’s main goal was always to undermine the U.S. political system, regardless of who is in the White House, experts said.

“The Russian government is savoring the severe damage to America’s international image a result of the tumultuous first weeks of the Trump administration’s tenure,” said Andrew Weiss, a former Clinton White House National Security Council official for Russian affairs…

Putin’s Russia might like to befriend and strike deals with Trump. But Moscow is also happy to see him founder if it weakens American resolve at home and abroad, said Weiss, now vice president for policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.