The revelation by the New York Times that the FBI has been investigating whether the President of the United States was acting on behalf of Russia is scary enough.
But there is an even scarier scenario: What if Trump’s actions and statements, whether consciously or subconsciously, were not part of a script written by his handlers in Moscow — but rather a reflection of what the United States has turned into as a country and a society?
As someone who was born in the then-Soviet Union, but had the good luck to move to New York and become a U.S. citizen in the 1970s, this question hits very close to home for me. That is why I have been giving the Trump/Russia debate a lot of my personal attention ever since it has come up.
Trump’s longstanding Russia connection
To recap the main, still often overlooked key aspects of this relationship, one has to know that the connection between Trump and Russia goes back to the 1980s and the days of the Warsaw Bloc.
Having married Ivana, a Czech national, Trump got on the radar screen of the Czechoslovak intelligence agency and, through it, of the Soviet KGB.
The connection ebbed and flowed, but it has snaked itself through the entirety of Trump’s business career like a red thread, as the Russians say. Key points to remember were:
1. Cash purchases of Trump properties by shady Russians
2. A loan from Deutsche Bank which at the time was actively laundering Russian money
3. The sale of a property to a Russian oligarch at a clearly inflated price
4. New York-based Russian thugs popping up as business partners
5. The beauty pageant in Moscow.
For a man so disinterested in international matters, this concentration of Trump’s Russia connection speaks volumes.
As was pointed out by Stephan Richter on The Globalist as far back as July 2018, inactive agents run by intelligence services are known as “sleepers.” They stay low and act as strictly private citizens until the moment arrives when they are needed.
For Donald Trump, if indeed he had been a sleeper, activation came when he started winning Republican presidential primaries in early 2016.
Then, his Russia-related contacts all of a sudden started multiplying with dizzying speed — so much so that it is almost impossible to keep the full list in one’s head. Trump found himself surrounded by people with extensive ties to Russia, its leaders and intelligence operatives.
The collusion that this represents — or “cooperation,” if you prefer — was fruitful for both sides. The Democrats’ private communications were stolen and made public. In exchange, the Republican Party’s platform was changed to eliminate military assistance to Ukraine.
Russia also mounted a social media blitz of fake news that helped elect Trump. Upon Trump’s election, it was rewarded with lavish praise from Trump for Putin, attacks on NATO — and even a plan to withdraw from it completely, as we have now learned — conflicts with America’s allies, an abrupt departure from Syria, five private meetings with Putin without witnesses and/or notes being taken, the lifting of sanctions from companies controlled by oligarch Oleg Deripaska, paired with inaction on other sanctions. All self-explanatory.
Trump also seems keen to advance Putin’s global agenda. A threat to bomb Iran? Why, it is driving the mullahs deep into Putin’s embrace and under his protection. A threat to crash NATO member Turkey economically? It will only alienate an already reluctant ally.
The other party in the Trump/Putin charade
Carl Bernstein, the veteran reporter of Watergate fame, said recently that according to his sources the report by special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating Trump’s Russia links, will conclude that the President helped Putin destabilize the United States. This is bad enough, but even worse would be the opposite — if there were no collusion.
That would be the case if Trump were to argue that he is doing it all of this not just on his own volition — i.e., without Putin’s urging – but because his voters, his so-called base, accounting for 40% and 45% of Americans, wants it that way?
If Trump is indeed a traitor, it should be possible to arrest, convict and jail him and a few of his associates. It would be an entirely different matter to go after a large — and extremely politically active — swath of the country’s population. That is downright impossible.
CareerBuilder.com found recently that 78% of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck and that, for a large number of them, a $400 unforeseen expense can put them on the road to financial ruin.
Under such precarious circumstances, around half of these voters, via their infatuation with Trump, reveal a deep yearning for a dictator, a father figure who knows best and who promises to take care of them – as Mr. Trump often does.
In that regard, Trump is actually acting in a very Putinesque fashion. The Russian president also promises the Russian people very often that he will take care of them – and then doesn’t.
Like Trump, Putin cares about the common folk only as far as them staying quiet is concerned. He does not want the way in which his country’s billionaires suck their country dry to get disturbed in any fashion.
Whether or not Putin — another evil, incompetent but probably more skillfully cunning buffoon — has been able to recruit Trump for his project of destabilizing the United States, the sad truth is that he didn’t have to. Americans have done a great job doing it themselves.
The Trump Nation rightfully belongs with Putin’s Russia. It is no coincidence that the United States’ once strong moral standing in the world is gradually, but steadfastly sinking in Russia’s direction.
That is certainly the last thing I was hoping for when I made it from Moscow to the United States back in 1974.
For a man so disinterested in international matters, the concentration of Trump’s Russia connection speaks volumes.
Putin didn’t have to recruit Trump for his project of destabilizing the US. Americans are doing a great job of achieving it themselves.
What if Trump’s actions and statements are a reflection of what the US has turned into as a country and a society?
Trump is acting in a very Putinesque fashion. Putin also promises the Russian people that he will take care of them – and then doesn’t.