President-elect Donald Trump may be denying reports from the intelligence community that the Russian government interfered in the recent presidential election in order to help him win the White House. But he can hardly doubt that the Kremlin seems very interested in making sure his election gets the final stamp of approval from the Electoral College today.
With electors set to cast their ballots today -- the final stage in the presidential election process -- Russian state-run media is now warning that Trump faces what one popular television program host said is a "coup d'etat" being engineered by shadowy forces who prefer his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
"Donald Trump has not had time to take office, but he's already faced with attempts to overthrow him. We are talking about a coup d'etat," said Dmitry Kiselyov, host of the Sunday night program, Weekly News.
Members of the Electoral College, Kiselyov said, "are being told that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin chose Trump. Somebody is interested in pushing this theory, and this somebody has a lot of money. We are talking about large corporations and U.S. arms companies. They are for Clinton. She's compliant and quiet. These firms are not expecting any surprises from her," Kiselyov said.
Kiselyov's version of the "coup" supposedly being plotted against Trump isn't, in truth, much different from the objections that many Trump supporters are raising against a sputtering movement to convince members of the electoral college to vote for someone other than Trump. But other Russian media are peddling much darker predictions.
At Sputnik News, one of several international-facing "news" websites that the Kremlin funds, columnist Finian Cunningham warned of an even more devious plan to subvert the coming Trump presidency.
"The coup against Trump could manifest in his impeachment from the White House after his inauguration in January, or less dramatically it could result in Trump being allowed to stay in office but under full control of the Deep State – the shadowy unelected forces of the military-intelligence apparatus that really govern America," he wrote.
Over at RT, another Kremlin-run site, columnist Annie Machon, identified as a former British intelligence officer, wrote, "I fear an American coup d'etat, possibly starting as soon as 19th December, the date when the Electoral College meets to ratify the election of Trump. All this Cold-War, anti-Russian hysteria is being used as a stick to beat the Electoral College members into ignoring their duty and vote in the way directed by the majority of the people of their state whom they are pledged to represent. Plus, who knows what juicy carrots may also have been offered?"
She added, ominously, "the CIA anti-Trump campaign may now have gathered so much momentum" that it will "find a way, any way possible, to stop Trump's inauguration as president." After that, she said, the "establishment would install Clinton in the White House.
Should that happen, she wrote, "We know all too well what lies ahead: war."
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