Was Putin channeling Trump? Moscow pro-war rally looked similar to ex-POTUS's stadium rallies
Sean Hannity is claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin's sold-out Moscow rally mirrors meetings hosted by former President Donald Trump, who has previously expressed his admiration for Putin. During his broadcast on Friday, March 18, Hannity said that Putin was just using a leaf out of Trump's playbook in rallying popular support for his invasion of Ukraine.
However, Hannity ridiculed Putin for making the connection, despite the fact that conservative political and media elites have continued to be critical of Putin. "During a big manufactured pro-Putin rally in Moscow, his best attempt to look like Donald Trump, there were some embarrassing technical difficulties during Vladimir's big speech," Hannity remarked in response to claims that people may have been coerced to attend.
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Putin hosted a rally in Moscow on Friday, March 18, to gather support for his three-week-old invasion of Ukraine. The stadium was decked up with Russian tricolor flags. Putin, dressed in a winter coat, appeared in front of a placard that said, "For a world without Nazism," a reference to his declared goal of "denazifying" Ukraine, a rationale that Western nations have disregarded.
“We haven’t been this united in a long time,” — Putin at the massive gathering of Russian patriots in Moscow.— Russian American Daily (@RussiaUSA) March 18, 2022
With a crowd size of over 203,000, it was the largest rally of his supporters in the 22 years that he’s been in power. pic.twitter.com/cLZJF4WBT2
"We know what we need to do, how to do it and at what cost," announced Putin, "and we will absolutely accomplish all of our plans." The event drew 200,000 people, according to Moscow police. Thousands were allegedly forced to join the march, according to the Associated Press, the charges that have yet to be independently verified.
Trump's 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns were marked by large, noisy rallies at stadiums and other locations, with the former reality TV star bragging about the size of his crowds. Hannity told his audience in his radio show that according to progressive watchdog group Media Matters for America, Putin was "channeling his inner Donald Trump."
Putin holding a mass rally to preach about the urgent need to eradicate Nazism would be funny if it wasn’t so deadly serious.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 18, 2022
HE is the Nazi, waging illegal genocidal war against a sovereign democratic nation with a Jewish president. pic.twitter.com/mDkCZZ5Rwr
"[Putin] had a what looked like, it almost looked like the big house in Michigan—their football stadium I think holds 110,000 people," said Hannity. He further added, "Putin had a massive Moscow rally. By the way, if you didn't show up you probably got in trouble. My only guess, I'm sure many people showed up just out of fear. That's what authoritarianism is all about, and we should know that by now."
Hannity had slammed Putin, declaring last month that the despotic leader should be removed from power “by whatever means necessary."
Putin rally looks suspiciously like Trump’s rally, except 10x the size. Except People were forced to attend just a BS gathering much like the former US criminal pic.twitter.com/yu6WU0Btrh— junedi (@junedi22930781) March 19, 2022
Trump has refrained from condemning Putin, despite the fact that several Republicans who had previously praised the Russian leader have shifted their positions as the American public has risen in favor of Ukraine. Trump has continued to laud Putin's brains and skills since the invasion. Even after Hannity questioned Trump earlier this month if he thought Putin was "evil," the former president did not respond explicitly.