Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived onstage at the awards ceremony for the FIFA World Cup with the sole umbrella in the middle of a torrential downpour — leaving French president Emmanuel Macron and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović standing in the rain for several minutes until more umbrellas could be found.
Macron seemed delighted, as Les Bleus had just won their second World Cup. But observers called the umbrella incident a “power move” by the Russian leader, who had a unique opportunity to dominate global attention.
It’s now absolutely bucketing down at the Luzhniki. Lackeys have appeared with umbrellas for the heads of state and FIFA dignitaries. Putin was the first to get his umbrella as Infantino, Macron and the Croatian president got soaked.
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) July 15, 2018
Putin having his own Umbrella Guy while everyone else gets soaking wet in the rain is an absolute power move pic.twitter.com/KAoi8gXhUk
— Clemquon (@TheClemReport) July 15, 2018
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. pic.twitter.com/KYzhucLPJM
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 15, 2018
Preview of tomorrow’s summit. Putin has an umbrella attendant, while Macron is fully exposed to the Moscow rain – getting soaked pic.twitter.com/MTInLnF7IZ
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) July 15, 2018
In Mother Russia only Putin gets an umbrella pic.twitter.com/oGrnRIxJnE
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) July 15, 2018
Fun fact: while Putin is being shielded by an umbrella, Croatia’s President is a 46-year-old conservative woman who is getting soaked and doesn’t seem to care
— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) July 15, 2018
Putin will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.