The following is part of The Moscow  Primary , an irregular  series  on yours  truly’s  speculations  regarding  the views  of the 2024  Republican  nomination  contest from most important player: the Kremlin.
Alex Thompson and Sophia Cai (Axios ) probably had the response to Donald Trump’s CNN “town hall” that was closest to my own.
Forget the theatrics in former President Trump’s  falsehood-filled town hall on CNN and the Twitter-bubble hysterics; Trump actually made lots of news at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., last night.
Chief among the issues around which Trump “committed news” (as we used to say back in the aughts), was Ukraine. Once again, Trump made sure the Kremlin boss who helped him win in 2016  and tried his best  to repeat the performance in 2020 was happy.
- He refused to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal over the killing of Ukrainian civilians. “If you say he’s a war criminal, it will be a lot tougher to get a deal to get this thing stopped,” Trump said.
- He repeatedly declined to say whether he wants Ukraine or Russia to win the war.
Outside of Chris Christie, who is nobly charging at the windmill (Politico ), that didn’t get a lot of attention amidst the aforementioned “hysterics.” The one fellow who is supposed to be able to take Trump down – Ron DeSantis – had his SuperPAC  go all on the latter last night.
Notice something missing from the list? That’s right: Ron’s crew remained silent on Trump’s appeasement of Putin. That was no accident. As with nearly everything else he does towards this campaign, DeSantis is hoping he can subtly win over Trump’s Kremlin friends without the rest of us noticing.
As with nearly everything else he does towards this campaign, DeSantis’ plan is blowing up on him. Not only will Trump win over Moscow with his more fervent expressions of support, but DeSantis will fool none of us who truly wish for Ukraine to win back its territory.
Whatever else Trump did last night, he firmed up his position as the GOP front-runner in the primaries … including the Moscow Primary,