Pro-Kremlin Russian media pundits urge ‘Comrade Trump’ to seek asylum in Russia after leaving the White House

Pro-Kremlin Russian media pundits urge ‘Comrade Trump’ to seek asylum in Russia after leaving the White House
President Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation | July 16, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Although many leaders in Europe have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory and made it clear that they are anxious to work with him in 2021 — including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron — Russian President Vladimir Putin still refuses to recognize Biden as the winner of the presidential election. And in the pro-Kremlin Russian media, the Daily Beast reports, some pundits are saying that Russia should offer Trump political asylum if he faces prosecutions after leaving the White House.

One of those pundits is Olga Skabeeva, who hosts the program "60 Minutes" (not to be confused with the CBS News program in the U.S.) on the Russia-1 network. Skabeeva has said that Trump's legal situation is "very serious" in the United States and that he should consider seeking asylum in Russia. And Igor Korotchenko, who is on the Russia Defense Ministry's public council, agrees. During a "60 Minutes" appearance, Korotchenko said, "Russia can offer political asylum to the persecuted former president of the United States, Donald Trump. But let him not simply arrive to Rostov or elsewhere, but also, transfer his capital here and finally build his famous Trump City somewhere in our New Moscow."

Dmitry Kiselyov, a prominent Russian media figure, has been urging Trump to give himself a preemptive pardon before leaving the White House in January. However, Trump's power to grant presidential pardons only exists at the federal level. None of the pardons he has granted to his allies offer any protection from possible prosecutions at the state level. And one non-federal prosecutor who has been investigating Trump is Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Although Trump has had a great deal of negative publicity in media outlets in Western Europe — from Spain to the Netherlands to Sweden — it's a very different picture in Russia. Trump, the Daily Beast notes, has a lot of supporters in the Russian media, where he is affectionately referred to as "Trumpusha," "Our Donald" or "Comrade Trump."

Kremlin officials have said that Putin will not congratulate Biden until all of Trump's legal challenges to the 2020 election results have been exhausted.

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