Photo: ABC

Trump has been promoted this week from statue to puppet.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook deflected a totally reasonable question from Goerge Stephanopoulos on why the Clinton Foundation would stop taking corporate and foreign donations should she become president, when it hadn’t done so while she was Secretary of State. The question was prompted by Bill Clinton’s announcement on Thursday that the Foundation will no longer accept such donations should Hillary win.

Mook responded that the foundation simply does not want to be a distraction, and then did his own distraction, saying, “Donald Trump is refusing to disclose deep financial ties that potentially reach into the Kremlin, which could influence his foreign policy decisions.”

While Trump is villain unmoored from truth, decency, and several of his hair follicles, that doesn’t necessarily excuse Mook’s fear-mongering, conspiratorial tone (Trump and his associates do have some ties to Russia). Or that Clinton definitely has maintained such ties through her family’s foundation.

As the New York Times reported on Saturday:

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated more than $10 million [to the Clinton Foundation]…. [S]o did the son-in-law of a former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists. A Lebanese-Nigerian developer with vast business interests contributed as much as $5 million.

For years the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation thrived largely on the generosity of foreign donors and individuals who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the global charity.”

Trump’s previous campaign manager Paul Manafort resigned from his position on Friday after the New York Times reported on August 14 that he’d received $12.7 million in undisclosed payments from former pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Mook’s rhetorical diversion picked up on remarks he made earlier in the interview, when he questioned whether Trump might be a “puppet for the Kremlin.”

“The hand of the Kremlin is at the core of [Trump’s] campaign,” Mook said.

As an objective purveyor of the news I must cede this point to Mook. Trump does indeed resemble an old sock stretched over Putin’s bear-like fist.