An ultra-right Russian politician aligned with Vladimir Putin says American voters should elect Donald Trump for president, or prepare for nuclear war. Vladimir Zhirinovsky likes to compare himself to Trump, and is a similarly unrestrained blowhard.
"Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump," he said. "But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere."
In an interview with Reuters, the "flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric" said only Trump could de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington, which is kind of wild, because that's also what Trump says.
Zhirinovsky received an important government award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) took third place in the recent Russian parliamentary elections.
Many Russians regard Zhirinovsky as a clownish figure who makes outspoken statements to grab attention but he is also widely viewed as a faithful servant of Kremlin policy, sometimes used to float radical opinions to test public reaction.
"Relations between Russia and the United States can't get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts," said Zhirinovsky, speaking in his huge office on the 10th floor of Russia's State Duma, or lower house of parliament.
"Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere."
Zhirinovsky's comments coincide with deep disagreements between Washington and Moscow over Syria and Ukraine and after the White House last week accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations.
Zhirinovsky once proposed building a gigantic barbed wire wall to block off Muslim southern Russia, a ridiculous idea not unlike Trump's repeated line about building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border–for which Mexico would be forced to pay.