What’s the appropriate, slightly unhip portmanteau to describe the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin these days? Is it a bromance? Are are the two men frenemies?
The hot-and-cold humors of adolescence, as well as its fluid network of grudges and shifting alliances, have been on display this week between the U.S. president-elect and the Russian president, culminating in a bizarre Friday evening Twitter missive from Trump:
Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: "In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity." So true!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2016
Here we have the president-elect quoting an oppressive foreign leader’s snark in the service of spiking the football on an opponent Trump vanquished nearly two months ago— with the Trumpian flourish of “So true!” perfectly tying it all together.
The tweet capped off a Putin swoon that also included Trump’s release Friday of an apparent letter from the Russian.
“Please accept my warmest Christmas and New Year greetings,” Putin wrote, according to an “unofficial translation” released by the Trump team. Trump did not release the original letter. “I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able—by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner—to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level.”