The New York Times begins a mainstream media effort to paint Trump as a Manchurian Candidate on July 22, 2016. Paul Krugman cutely disguises the slur with “Siberian Candidate” instead.
“If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.
But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.”
A few weeks later, on August 21, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, suggested that Donald Trump may be a “puppet” for Russia in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mook told host George Stephanopoulos, “We need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his campaign,” and “There are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”
A week later on August 26, 2016, Salon writes,
“Last week, Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, said we should ask “real questions” about whether Donald Trump “is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” By that time, Audible.com was already giving away free audiobooks of “The Manchurian Candidate,” Richard Condon’s 1959 book (transformed into a classic thriller starring Angela Lansbury and Frank Sinatra in 1962 and a worse remake with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep in 2004) about communists controlling an American presidential candidate.”
Precisely a month before Election day, 2016, The Atlantic publishes an article meant to discredit Trump and present him as a “Modern Manchurian candidate serving the interests of the Kremlin.” Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta suggests Trump represents a threat to national security.
Last but not least, a week to the day before the 2016 Election, Vanity Fair publishes this article on November 1, 2016: