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Trump Is Being ‘Manipulated’ By Putin, Former Intelligence Officials Allege
While on his overseas trip to Asia this past week, President Donald Trump asserted that he trusted Russia President Vladimir Putin when he said he wasn’t involved with meddling in our election.
“Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said.
And as far as intelligence officials who contradict Trump’s “trust” in Putin? “They’re political hacks,” Trump explained.
Trump even tweeted his disgust with people who are upset with him getting cozy with Putin, calling those critics “haters and fools.”
When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
But two former intelligence officers made new suggestions regarding the president’s behavior, saying that it’s possible that Trump is being manipulated by the Kremlin.
“I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do, or what might come out as a result of these investigations,” former CIA Director John Brennan said on Sunday during an interview on CNN. “It’s either naiveté, ignorance or fear in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-à-vis the Russians.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper agreed. “I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him,” he said.
They’re not alone in criticizing the president. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also slammed Trump for effectively siding with Russia, whom we know attempted to derail our election, over the national intelligence agencies of the United States.
In a statement critical of the president’s friendly relationship with Putin, McCain wrote, “There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community,” referencing Trump’s claim to put this nation’s interests ahead of all others. “Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”
It’s sickening and disturbing to see any president show disrespect to the intelligence agencies that serve this nation. Americans who engage in collecting this information do so at great risk to their own lives every day, and to show utter contempt for them, as Trump has done, undervalues their work and sends a message that they’re expendable to this administration who will ignore intelligence that doesn’t fit their agenda.
The fact that Trump does so while simultaneously praising Vladimir Putin is rubbing salt in the wound. We know that the Kremlin engaged in this behavior, and we know that Putin called those individuals “patriots.” That alone is worthy of Trump’s condemnation, not adoration, of the Russian president.
Trump is either acting very dumb, or he’s acting out of fear that the Russians have dirt on him. Either option is bad for America.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.