Trump meets Putin in Hamburg Mikhail Pochuyev/Getty Images

Putin and Trump’s Tainted Love

This week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Donald Trump will finally meet his Russian counterpart and strongman hero, Vladimir Putin. He should savor the moment, because both he and Putin could soon be regretting that they ever sought each other out.

putin trump meet
Illustration by Pedro X Molina

MOSCOW – US President Donald Trump must be giddy: this week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, he will finally meet his Russian counterpart and strongman-hero Vladimir Putin.

It is rare for someone who has reached the exalted office of President of the United States to retain the capacity for, much less interest in, hero worship. But it is also rare – if not unprecedented – for someone in that position to owe so much to a single foreign leader. For Trump, Putin’s likely intrusions in the 2016 presidential election may well have contributed to his victory, even as they have also done considerable damage to his presidency.

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