Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova: Trump and Putin Both 'Dangerous Clowns'

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova: Trump and Putin Both 'Dangerous Clowns'

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Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova: Trump and Putin Both 'Dangerous Clowns' news
Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova: Trump and Putin Both 'Dangerous Clowns' news
Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova says Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have troubling similarities. Jacob Crawfurd/Demotix/Corbis

Donald Trump bragged to Republican voters in November that he would “get along very well” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a suspicion he based on the fact that they once appeared on the same episode of a newsmagazine. “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates,” he said. “We did well that night.”

Fact-checkers would later reveal that Trump’s segment of the show was filmed stateside, while Putin’s was filmed in Russia, invalidating the suggestion of a green-room rendezvous. But their bromance blossomed: Putin responded by telling reporters that Trump is “a very bright and talented man.”

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, who knows a thing or two about the realities of living in Putin’s Russia, has a less complimentary assessment of Trump — essentially, that his entire candidacy is a joke. “I think that he probably could be not-bad comedian, but he couldn’t be politician,” she tells Rolling Stone.

Still, Tolokonnikova sees how he and Putin might get along. “I see similarities between Trump and Putin because they both like to provoke the audience,” she says.

And importantly for Tolokonnikova — who is something of an expert on the subject of provocation — that’s not their job. “Artists and punks and musicians should provoke the audience, and politicians should serve the public interest,” she says. “It’s not their role to express their individuality, to do crazy gestures like Trump and Putin are doing.”

Tolokonnikova, who has pledged symbolic support for Bernie Sanders, says she is working on a song about Trump and Bernie.

“I think it will be a disaster if Trump will win the election. I will try to do what I can to prevent it,” she says. She calls Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States “disgusting,” and his positions on issues affecting women “anti-feminist.” Electing him, she adds, “can cause a lot of social problems.”

The good news, she says, is that Trump and Putin don’t need an official capacity to nurture their mutual affection. “If they want to just fire themselves for the presidency and just go to Hawaii and spend their good time, I would love to support them,” she says. “Yes. Go for it. But I don’t want to see two dangerous clowns as presidents of big countries.”

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