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Ilan Goldenberg @ilangoldenberg
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1. I had a conversation a few months ago with a former Russian official that made it clear to me they have no idea of the significance of what they did.

They are celebrating now but in the long this is really going to hurt them. Here’s how the conversation went
2. Me: you guys should not have actively been playing in our politics and media. It’s a dangerous game.
3. Him: come on you guys have CNN & BBC playing in your hotel room upstairs (we were in Moscow). It’s the same thing
4. Me: there is a difference between state run media & free media. But beyond that you guys were on social media pretending to be Americans while also stealing emails from US citizens.
5. Him: and what does the CIA do? You interfere in other countries’ elections all the time
6. Me: but you don’t understand how central democratic elections are to who America is as a country. Our government system and pride in it is essential to our national character & a core element of American nationalism & identity
7. Him: you guys are just oversensitive
8. This conversation captures something important. The Russians don’t understand why what they did has sparked such outrage in the US. For them free elections just aren’t that big of a deal
9. And of course Trump is making all this much much worse by validating Russia’s actions.
10. They are convinced that what they did worked. And they are right in the short term it has. They couldn’t have a better POTUS. But in the long-term they may come to regret this
11. eventually (hopefully in 2021) Trump goes. when he does it will be a generation before the US & Russia can have any kind of functional relationship. US politics won’t allow it after what the Russians did. They’ve touched 3rd rail
12. And objectively Russia is still a second rate economic and military power that can’t truly compete on a global level with the US.
13. In the long run they will come to regret having turned themselves into public enemy number 1 in the eyes of the US public & sabotaging the possibility of a functional US-Russia relationship
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