The head of Russia’s top state news network said Sunday that President Donald Trump is worse than North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, less than three months after commending him for rising to power in “his own way.”
News anchor Dmitry Kiselyov laid out a list of bullet points on Russia’s most widely watched news show for why Trump is worse than the North Korean dictator.
Admitting the dangers of both, Kiselyov ultimately called Trump the more dangerous of the two on the state-owned news network Rossiya Segodnya (translated as Russia Today).
The criticisms included Trump’s unwillingness to negotiate, the US’s military strike against Assad’s government in Syria (while, according to Kiselyov, Jong-Un never went beyond threats and nuclear tests) and rumours of a military armada in the Korean peninsula.
“In this way, Trump is more impulsive and unpredictable than Kim Jong-Un,” Kiselyov said. The final knock against Trump came when Kiselyov quipped that, unlike Ivanka, Jong-Un’s four-year-old daughter does not yet have her own office in the North Korean equivalent of the White House.
Kiselyov, who once said that the organs of deceased LGBT Russians should be burned instead of donated for transplants, is frequently called a propagandist both locally and in the West and has long been known for his divisive rhetoric and pro-Kremlin parroting.
But Kiselyov’s criticism has seemed particularly jarring because he heartily heaped praise on Trump only a few months prior. Months before the US Presidential election in November, Dmitry Kiselyov repeatedly praised Trump on the same “News of the Week” show, calling him a “rising star” and “anti-establishment” candidate who would bring necessary change to American politics.
“He played by the rules and won the Presidency,” Kiselyov said on air a few days after the November election.
Kiselyov last offered enthusiastic support on January 23, when he welcomed Trump into office and congratulated him for not using the words democracy or NATO during the speech.
“The guests in the VIP seats had goosebumps,” Kiselyov said on air.
Now that Trump been in office for few months and launched a strike against Assad’s military base in Syria, Kiselyov has stopped praising Trump. Some analysts say it is yet another sign of Russia’s growing disillusionment with the American president after pre-election expectations that he would bring the two countries closer.
In the last month, negative attitudes towards Trump among Russians rose from 7 per cent to 39 per cent, according to a state poll released Monday.
“Donald Trump’s aggressive behaviour has resurrected distrust and ill-will towards America, something that has characterised Russian society for the last two decades,” said Valery Federov, a primary organiser of the poll.
The Kremlin has since distanced itself from Kisyelov’s comparison, saying that Kisyelov’s views are “”usually close” to the Russian government but do not align “every time.”
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