Russian officials are elated over Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ Thursday resignation, with some high-ranking Kremlin operatives and state television personalities calling it a “positive signal for Russia.”
Julia Davis reported in The Daily Beast on Friday that Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, said that “the departure of James Mattis is a positive signal for Russia, since Mattis was far more hawkish on Russia and China than Donald Trump.”
Kosachev interpreted Mattis’ departure – largely believed to have been motivated by President Donald Trump’s decision to remove American troops from Syria – as Trump working to appease autocrats like Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kosachev said Trump’s desire to maintain his relationship with Russia was “more important than keeping James Mattis at his post,” calling it “an interesting signal, and a more positive one” for Russia.
Olga Skabeeva, the host of Russian state TV’s 60 Minutes, was giddy over Mattis’ break from Trump.
“Secretary of Defense Mattis didn’t want to leave Syria, so Trump fired him,” Skabeeva gloated. “They are leaving Syria.”
American are “losers,” Skabeeva said, “since Putin has defeated them in every way.” Skabeeva’s co-host, Evgeny Popov, beamed: “Trump is ours again—what are you going to do?”
To thunderous applause from his studio audience, Popov noted Trump’s habitual capitulation to Russian interests.
“It seems to Americans that we won on every front: the U.S. Secretary of Defense has been removed, we unquestionably secured a complete, unconditional victory in Syria,” Popov said.
Skabeeva interjected: “They’re also planning to leave Afghanistan.”
Popov agreed, adding: “On top of that, Rusal sanctions have been lifted with Trump’s hands.”
Skabeeva then stated what has become ominously apparent.
“Americans say, it’s because he is beholden to Putin,” Skabeeva said. “Is that logical? Yes, it is.”
Twitter’s response: yeah, no kidding, “they can have him.” Ouch.
When was he ever not
— sElfLoaThInGCaucasus (@leowrite03) December 21, 2018
When was he not?
— doug_v3.1.1_final_FINAL-2 (1).psd (@glowingrec) December 21, 2018
He's always been yours, Vlad!
— Smocking Tariff Man (@BewareTheIguana) December 21, 2018
So this tweet was prescient in both substance and season. https://t.co/DdfoyJxXZ7
— Argle-Bargler (@jcfreeborn) December 21, 2018
THEY CAN HAVE HIM!!!!!
— Julie Kenward (@JulieLKenward) December 21, 2018
— RC deWinter (@RCdeWinter) December 21, 2018
@Dotard is so dangerous for America.
Lifted sanctions & now pulling out of Syria.
He's paying off Putin & Turkey with this move.
— 💥Pam💥 🌺💦🌊🗽 (@PamLukas3) December 21, 2018
— Chris Morris (@cm_merlin) December 21, 2018
This certainly shatters the spin by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who tried to downplay Russia’s joy over Mattis’ quitting and the drawdown of troops in Syria.