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The Daily Vertical: Putin Shoots Himself In The Foot (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

The hacking didn't work.

The leaks didn't work.

The fake news didn't work.

And the smear campaign didn't work.

So now the Kremlin is saying: can't we all just get along?

In his congratulatory message to Emmanuel Macron yesterday, Vladimir Putin called on the French president-elect to overcome the "mutual mistrust" between Paris and Moscow.

That's pretty rich when you consider who created the mutual mistrust.

It's pretty rich given that for months the Kremlin-backed media and Kremlin-backed social-media trolls have been relentlessly smearing Macron with lies, rumors, and innuendo.

It's pretty rich when in the midst of the French election campaign, Putin hosted Macron's rival, the nationalist Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin.

And it's pretty rich considering that a cyberattack on Macron's campaign and a data dump on the eve of the election looked suspiciously like the Kremlin's handiwork.

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It's rich, but it's also par for the course.

The Putin regime's standard operating procedure is to provoke a conflict, blame the other side, and offer itself as a peacemaker.

Start a war in Ukraine, blame the Ukrainians, and then play the mediator.

Fly warplanes into NATO airspace, accuse NATO of provoking a new Cold War, and then call for dialogue.

We've all seen this movie before.

And this time, Putin shot himself in the foot. He has turned France, one of the friendliest countries toward Russia in Europe, into an adversary.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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