To: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. From: DC Station. Re: Trump Annual Report Card

The latest Chemisphere, a rundown of this week's main stories and what's ahead - by Haaretz's senior columnist Chemi Shalev ■ Sign up below

A handout photo taken by Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore on June 11, 2018 shows US President Donald Trump (L) blows a candle after being presented a cake during a working lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
AFP PHOTO

To: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of Russia

From: Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), DC Station

Re: Annual report card, Donald J. Trump, “President of the United States”

Your Excellency

This is Donald Trump’s end-of-year report card, as per your request. Needless to say, it is excellent. Trump has proven himself to be a sterling asset for the Russian Federation, exceeding all expectations. In fact, his main drawback seems to be overzealousness: His efforts on our behalf are often overly outrageous and blatant, drawing needless attention to the fact that he is providing such valuable services for the Glory of Mother Russia. 

Trump gets an A in breaking up the Western alliance, undermining America’s moral leadership and encouraging Vladimir Putin-style authoritarianism throughout the world. He gets an A- in trashing immigration, dismantling the welfare state, sowing division among U.S. citizens and thoroughly corrupting one of two America’s major parties. His grade in eroding trust in government and subverting the rule of law is only a B+, but that’s mainly due to the impeccable credentials and dogged determination of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who Trump has been hesitant to purge. He has promised, however, to improve his performance by year’s end.

Trump’s bad behavior, moreover, is exemplary. After breaking all known records for brutish conduct during an election campaign, Trump brought his mean streak to the White House, savaging everyone from the news media through political rivals to NFL players. His recent loutish treatment of Canada, hitherto America’s closest ally, was so inspiring we recommend that it be incorporated in the future into the Kremlin’s handbook for Western lackeys on How To Abandon Friends and Lose Influence.

Trump has been especially effective in alienating Western leaders and enraging public opinion. His disruption of the recent G-7 summit was classic textbook switch and bait. He pretended to play along with the other six and even agreed to a final joint statement, only to pull the plug as he was making his way home. We recommend sending him a card, through the usual discreet channels, congratulating his “staunch leadership”. You are well aware, Mr. President, how much he craves a good word from his hero and role model.

Get the Chemisphere every week straight to your indox - sign up here

We must also commend Trump for advancing the realignment of the international power structure and the creation of what you so brilliantly described as “The Axis of Upheaval.” Your vision of an ultranationalist alliance that thrives on hatred of Islam and is determined to sabotage Western alliances, such as the European Union and NATO, which pose a direct threat to Russia’s national interest, is slowly turning into reality.

We must also note, in this regard, the valuable contributions made by Brexit supporters in Britain and by Trump’s BFF Benjamin Netanyahu.  The Israeli prime minister has studiously cultivated relations with authoritarian, rightwing governments in Poland, Austria and Hungary, whitewashing their records of anti-Semitism past and present and helping to make them “kosher”, excuse the expression, in the eyes of Americans in general and of the powerful Jewish lobby, of which you have often spoken.

Netanyahu has been especially helpful in isolating your sworn enemy, George Soros, in personal attacks as well as in his embrace of Soros nemesis Viktor Orban. And his recent snub of EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini, which brought about the cancellation of her visit to Israel, shows that he is a willing participant in the sidelining of Western Europe.

As a final note, we must stress the importance of ensuring at least the appearance of success to Trump’s meeting in Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. It is crucial to silencing the U.S. leader’s critics and boosting his position at home so that he can continue the very good work he’s already started.

Who could have imagined, Vladimir Vladimirovich, that scenarios that sounded wild when we were both Majors in the KGB (and we called you Pale Moth) that your expertise on cultivating collaborators and your knowledge of international law and trade would one day pay off so handsomely.

Rossiya Vpered, Go Russia, and Good Luck in the World Cup!