Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov attends Russian-Kyrgyz talks in Bishkek,Kyrgtzstan, February,28,2017.
PHOTO: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov attends Russian-Kyrgyz talks in Bishkek,Kyrgtzstan, February,28,2017.
Now playing
02:58
Putin spokesman on US-Russia relations
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
PHOTO: Matt Rourke/AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Now playing
02:16
Trump slams probe 'hoax' despite intel warning
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 09: Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump and Aras Agalarov attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Victor Boyko/Getty Images
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 09: Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump and Aras Agalarov attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:23
Russian pop star trolls Trump in music video (2018)
Trump WH 5
PHOTO: CNN
Trump WH 5
Now playing
01:31
Trump: It is possible I will meet with Putin
Now playing
01:06
Toobin calls Giuliani claim 'corrupt and unethical'
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:54
Giuliani: Stop the possibility of impeachment
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
GOP members slam Trump's Russia comments
Now playing
00:10
This video is no longer available
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:38
Giuliani: Trump has right to know FBI source
Now playing
01:21
Trump says 'disgraceful' if FBI spied on campaign
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
01:34
Trump lawyers seek to limit Mueller interview
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:45
Page: Never found anything unusual about FBI source
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08:  Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:08
Comey: Trump won't criticize Putin, even in private
PHOTO: UNTV
Now playing
02:27
Nikki Haley: I don't get confused
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV        (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:03
Russia reacts to Trump's Syria strike tweets
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:26
US hits Putin allies with new sanctions

Story highlights

Jill Dougherty: Trump's love affair with Putin is playing out well for Russia and Putin's candidacy for the 2018 elections

Trump's travails can serve the Kremlin's ambitions: A message to the world that the US is a shambles, she writes

Editor’s Note: Jill Dougherty is a former CNN foreign affairs correspondent and Moscow bureau chief with expertise in Russia and the former Soviet Union. The opinions in this article belong to the author.

(CNN) —  

For weeks after Donald Trump’s election, “Trumpomania” ruled the Russian airwaves.

Jill Dougherty
Jill Dougherty

State-controlled media were besotted with the rich American who didn’t insult their President or lambaste their country for human rights violations – who actually thought it would be “nice” if Russia and America “got along.”

Russian TV carried more news about Trump than about Vladimir Putin. It seemed only a matter of time before Trump would lift economic sanctions on Russia and join hands with Putin to fight terrorism.

But the sanctions stayed in place. Trump started Tweeting about winning an arms race. His UN ambassador condemned Moscow for annexing Crimea. Then came “KremlinGate.”

In Moscow, the love affair is cooling. State media are dialing down the temperature on Trump – fast. Whole newscasts go by without a word about him. Like a spurned lover telling a friend how it all went wrong, Kremlin spinmeisters are trying to make sense of it all for Russian viewers.

They’re not blaming Trump, yet, although hints of dissatisfaction at his management style sometimes creep in. Instead, they’re reaching back in their propaganda playbook for some tried-and-true tropes about the United States.

Master media showman Dmitry Kiselev, in his weekly TV program “News of the Week,” gave a textbook vision of why Trump isn’t delivering on his promise to improve the relationship with America.

The “oligarchic media” – the same ones Trump has called “enemies of the American people,” Kiselev noted – are at war with the new president, determined to bring him down.

“Radical liberals” won’t accept the results of the election and are “plotting a revolution”. Even a mention of Russia by Trump or his administration carries “high political risk.”

PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:16
Congressman: Sessions needs to come clean
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14:  U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions is expected to face questions from lawmakers again on whether he had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign last year.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions is expected to face questions from lawmakers again on whether he had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign last year. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:27
Sessions: I pushed back on Trump-Putin meeting
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
02:02
Sessions: I've had no meetings with Russians
Sessions defends his honor at hearing TC MOBILE_00001322.jpg
Sessions defends his honor at hearing TC MOBILE_00001322.jpg
Now playing
00:31
Sessions defends his honor at hearing
PHOTO: Mario Tama/Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Now playing
01:32
The 8 words that got Jeff Sessions into trouble
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently denied Tuesday that he colluded with an alleged Russian bid to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently denied Tuesday that he colluded with an alleged Russian bid to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.
Now playing
00:51
Sessions raises voice over recusal question
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:00
Sessions: Rumor is 'appalling and detestable'
PHOTO: pool
Now playing
02:43
Sessions: Following policy is not stonewalling
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13:  U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in before testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his work for the Trump campaign and was later discovered to have had contact with the Russian ambassador last year despite testifying to the contrary during his confirmation hearing.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in before testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his work for the Trump campaign and was later discovered to have had contact with the Russian ambassador last year despite testifying to the contrary during his confirmation hearing. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:25
Sessions: I can't claim executive privilege
Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.
PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP
Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.
Now playing
02:24
Sessions explains reason for recusal in probe
PHOTO: pool
Now playing
02:11
Senator: You're impeding this investigation
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:26
Sessions on Comey: FBI needed a fresh start
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:30
Sessions praises Trump day before testimony
Now playing
01:15
Franken: I think Sessions committed perjury
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 9: Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a swearing in ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, Feb. 08, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 9: Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a swearing in ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, Feb. 08, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:34
Jeff Sessions defends testimony in new letter
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:16
Congressman: Sessions needs to come clean
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14:  U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions is expected to face questions from lawmakers again on whether he had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign last year.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions is expected to face questions from lawmakers again on whether he had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign last year. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:27
Sessions: I pushed back on Trump-Putin meeting
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
02:02
Sessions: I've had no meetings with Russians
Sessions defends his honor at hearing TC MOBILE_00001322.jpg
Sessions defends his honor at hearing TC MOBILE_00001322.jpg
Now playing
00:31
Sessions defends his honor at hearing
PHOTO: Mario Tama/Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Now playing
01:32
The 8 words that got Jeff Sessions into trouble
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently denied Tuesday that he colluded with an alleged Russian bid to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently denied Tuesday that he colluded with an alleged Russian bid to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.
Now playing
00:51
Sessions raises voice over recusal question
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:00
Sessions: Rumor is 'appalling and detestable'
PHOTO: pool
Now playing
02:43
Sessions: Following policy is not stonewalling
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13:  U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in before testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his work for the Trump campaign and was later discovered to have had contact with the Russian ambassador last year despite testifying to the contrary during his confirmation hearing.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in before testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his work for the Trump campaign and was later discovered to have had contact with the Russian ambassador last year despite testifying to the contrary during his confirmation hearing. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing