Great interview at Slate with Joshua Yaffa. He's a Russia expert and has been writing excellent longer-form articles for the New Yorker on the current environment in Russia under Putin and the Trump/Russia connection. He's a really smart guy, plus a classmate and an acquaintance.
So is your theory of this larger scandal that the Russian government was trying certain things to screw with the election and thought they would cause low level chaos and hopefully help Trump, and just lucked out beyond their wildest dreams?
Essentially, yes. I don’t think that Putin in his wildest dreams thought that the American people would actually inflict this upon themselves, which is ultimately what happened. These are American voters who put Trump in office, not Russian ones.
I also think that Putin and his cohort have a very genuine cynicism, and I think that’s important to understand. Their cynical read on how the world works is not just for show. I think they, deep down, are convinced that cynical self-interest is what drives the world. There is no such thing as genuine, earnest belief and motivation, and so that leads to all sorts of analytical conclusions, and one of them was that somehow, the American system, the American establishment, would never “allow” Trump to win. The media, the existing political parties, the lobbying machine in Washington, all of these forces that in a country, say, like Russia, really would keep a renegade candidate from becoming president would somehow constrain Trump. I think those assumptions drove his tactical decision-making throughout the campaign.
Fascinating stuff as we wait for the other shoe to drop, per the heads up by Judas.