With People For the American Way, I put together a full-length report examining Russia's swelling ties within the US's far-right, from white nationalists to the most prominent leaders of America's Religious Right community:
Indeed, it’s within Trump’s outspoken praise for Putin that we can trace the contours of the reasons white nationalists and members of the Religious Right continue to look to Moscow for support and inspiration, and continue to admire and praise Putin’s policies. For white nationalists, in their blinkered understanding of recent developments in Moscow, Putin presents something of an ur-leader: a head of state embodying an idealized view of masculinity, undistracted by legal or cultural niceties in pursuit of his ultimate end-goals. Rather than remaining within the understood boundaries of post-Cold War politics, Putin has, to America’s white nationalists, reclaimed the primacy of a white, Christian population within a multi-ethnic federation: a model white nationalists envision as a possibility under Trump. The Religious Right, meanwhile, stands enthralled with Putin’s willingness to bolster the church, with the Russian Orthodox Church maintaining a clear, superior role both within the state and over other non-Christian religions.