After years of President Donald Trump calling the Russia investigation a "hoax," the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released its final report on Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
The nearly 1000 page report details numerous contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives, including from former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who corresponded with Russian Intelligence agent Konstantin V. Kilimnik.
Manafort fed Kilimnik campaign information before lying to federal agents about doing so.
The lengthy report also includes a letter from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin in 2007, congratulating him for being named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
Fascinating artifact from Senate Intel report: old fan mail from Trump to Putin pic.twitter.com/ijjhZweTHK
— Mike McIntire (@mmcintire) August 18, 2020
The letter reads:
"Dear President Putin:
Congratulations on being named Time magazine's 'Man [sic] of the Year'—you definitely deserve it. As you probably have heard, I am a big fan of yours! Take care of yourself.
With best wishes,
Donald J. Trump"
Trump has frequently expressed admiration for Putin, who's largely deemed one of the most authoritarian and corrupt leaders in the developed world. Trump has reportedly expressed a desire to meet with Putin in-person ahead of the 2020 election, even as officials warn that Russia continues its efforts to sabotage the election in favor of Trump.
The letter generated widespread mockery.
"As you probably have heard, I'm a big fan of yours!"
Trump to Putin, 2007, on being named TIME's Man of the Year, which for Trump is, of course, the be-all and end-all. https://t.co/SgLDtedBLe
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) August 18, 2020
Holy Lord. I never even wrote something like this to The New Kids on the Block. Wow. https://t.co/BVM8TgRtJh
— Ashlie Weeks (@ashlie_weeks) August 18, 2020
Somewhere there's an embarrassing letter like this that I once wrote to someone famous. But in my defense, I was 14 when I wrote mine. https://t.co/IrF20ywhQH
— Andrea Pitzer (@andreapitzer) August 18, 2020
Who knew that Trump was the president of the official Putin fan club 🤣 https://t.co/N1Oz4xcNbh
— Kellie A. Dennis (@KellieADennis74) August 18, 2020
For some, the gushing letter gave insight to the years Trump has expressed favor for Putin.
In my book I describe the cringey way that Trump tried to "anchor" to Putin's prestige before & while he ran for president. I'm not saying it was pretty beta, but it was pretty beta. https://t.co/FwP418xwyx
— Jennifer Mercieca (@jenmercieca) August 18, 2020
A 60 year old man wrote fan mail to the dictator of America's biggest enemy and it's just the most pathetic thing I've ever ever read. https://t.co/SelTEPgVHe
— Brian Santa Maria (@briansantamaria) August 18, 2020