A series of letters Donald Trump wrote to Vladimir Putin in 2007 have been uncovered, with Trump offering congratulations to the Russian dictator for being named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, saying he’s a “big fan” of the Russian dictator on official Trump letterhead.
“Dear President Putin,” the letter began. “Congratulations on being named Time magazine’s ‘Man 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, Sincerely, Donald J. Trump.” Trump used his signature Sharpie to sign the letter and also underlined the words “I am a big fan of yours!”
The well-documented relationship between Putin and Trump dates back to November of 1987, when Trump traveled to Moscow under the guise of establishing business ties and expanding his real estate holdings. Though he had never expressed any real interest in politics prior to that visit, Trump came back from that particular trip with a new political ambition. Two months after his Moscow visit, Trump spent almost $100,000 on a series of full-page newspaper ads that published a political manifesto. “An open letter from Donald J. Trump on why America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves,” as Trump labeled it, launched angry populist charges against the allies that benefited from the umbrella of American military protection. “Why are these nations not paying the United States for the human lives and billions of dollars we are losing to protect their interests?”
Trump’s obvious envy of Putin’s power may be what ultimately led him to create a network of connectivity that exists to this day. Once Trump announced his intentions to run for President in 2015, social media was taken over by an overwhelming Russian campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Trump openly praised Putin on the campaign trail while criticizing then-President Barack Obama and famously deferred to him at the Helsinki Conference where the two met privately, leading to intense media speculation. No transcript of that meeting has ever been released.
It was also recently revealed that Trump and Putin have spoken on at least eight separate occasions this year, yet haven’t discussed the bounties Putin paid the Taliban to execute American troops. Trump, always quick to defend Putin, continues to insist the bounties are just another Democratic hoax.