Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
52 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Is Trump a Russian Agent? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: US_Politics [+] [View All]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While waiting for the "Bill Barr Reader's Digest Version of the Mueller Report," an interesting article by a retired CIA clandestine officer.


https://www.justsecurity.org/63660/is-trump-a-russian-agent-...

Couple of excerpts (emphasis in the original):

"I think it is entirely plausible that Mr. Trump is somehow compromised by his personal and financial dealings with Russia and Russians, but I do not think he is an “agent” in the sense that intelligence professionals use the term. Let me explain."
...

"Based on the U.S. definition of an agent, it is unlikely that President Trump is a recruited and controlled source of the Russian intelligence services. To a professional he is nightmare. Yes, he is a cauldron of potentially exploitable vulnerabilities. He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible. Nor would he be willing to provide intimate details of his life. A recruited source cannot hide important personal details from his handler. Surprises don’t mix well with the need to keep a relationship wholly secret.

Additionally, it is hard to see private citizen Trump or President Trump following a sophisticated communication plan."
...

"However, aside from Trump’s flawed personality, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that Trump is nonetheless acting counter to U.S. interests in a conspiratorial manner. For an intelligence service to consummate a covert relationship there needs to be confluence of events. There must be interest from the recruiting service, willingness and intent to conspire from the target, an opportunity to develop a relationship, a reason to risk a secret relationship (quid pro quo), and a shared aptitude to manage an undercover liaison. While Trump’s competence may not suggest him as a natural spy candidate, the other requirements have been met. The Russians certainly had an interest in cultivating Trump prior to 2016, and much to gain as he moved toward the Republican convention in July. Prior to Trump’s ascent, Putin could never have conceived that any U.S. Administration would acquiesce to Moscow’s policy interests and participate in its own retreat from the world stage. Among other things, Trump has attacked the FBI and U.S. foreign policy establishment, driven a wedge between NATO and the U.S., and delivered Russia a free hand in Syria. He willingly enabled the very damage that the Russians were promoting. If not for significant political resistance (including from his own Party), he may well have also provided sanctions relief, recognized Russia’s seizure of Crimea, returned Russian diplomatic residences, and weakened the enforcement of the Magnitsky Act. Needless to say, for his part Trump gained an ally in his effort to damage Hillary Clinton, benefited from Russian disinformation, and explored personal financial rewards. He clearly crossed a line and can be objectively labeled an agent of a foreign power in the standard definition of the word. From the Russian perspective, it is a win-win even if the relationship doesn’t meet the cloak-and-dagger definition of a wholly clandestine espionage agent."

...
"While President Trump is unlikely to be a full-blown recruited and controlled source, there may be those around him who are."

...
"Manafort is a different story. Manafort’s out-of-control ego and greed were apparent to everyone he met. He spent years conspiring with and enabling war criminals, undermining U.S. policy and looking to make a buck anywhere he could. He enriched himself while engaged with Russians and Russian-linked Ukrainians. Anyone who has spent years making money on the fringes of Russian politics has rubbed up against the cesspool of Russian intelligence, criminality and corruption. He appears to have been comfortable in that world. At the very least, the Russian services certainly had years of access to Manafort. His position as the Trump campaign chair would have also made him a top target of interest for Russian intelligence (and the services of China, Iran etc.). Failure to proposition him would have been an act of professional negligence by the Russian services. It was just too easy.

Additionally, recent information from the Mueller team suggests Manafort was trying to use his position on the Trump campaign to pay back debts to Russian oligarchs. He reportedly met with former Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik, who had continuing ties to Russian intelligence, to share campaign polling data (why?) and discuss a Ukraine peace plan that would have been of great interest to the Kremlin. Further, the one campaign official who participated in the infamous June 9, 2016 meeting who certainly had enough experience to understand how the Kremlin would seek to exploit that meeting was Manafort. The fact that he accepted the meeting and failed to report Russian efforts to fence stolen data suggest that he was comfortable engaging in illicit, subversive, and potentially criminal behavior. He surely knew how the Russians operate, what was on offer and the stakes involved. He displayed top-level access and a clear willingness to conspire. Anyone in government who behaved as he did would be investigated and fired. He failed to put his country first."

...

But sure, Trump's a normal president.
25 
 Thumb up
3.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Can I just say, it is a pleasure to read something intelligent from the US government again.

Okay, ex-government but I will take what I can get. Complete sentences and ideas go a long way.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bern Harkins
United States
Buffalo
New York
flag msg tools
Do the right thing. It's usually obvious.
badge
I has a stick! A tiny green stick!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for this: a primer with clear, detailed explanations, and to my limited knowledge wholly accurate.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Henry
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind—Einstein
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
In the world of counterintelligence there is a big difference between knowing something and being able to prove it in a court of law.

I hope the Mueller report contains a line like this too...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anatoly
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible.


How the hell does a person like that has had a successful political campaign and became president of the bigglest superpower on the planet?!

It is surreal! I will never understand you Americans...
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lola Granola
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't blame all of us, under 20% of us voted for him.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mortego
United States
New Kensington
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WOW! I read the whole article.....I feel like I have a better understanding of what I assumed all this time that the President is somehow under the influence of Putin/Russians. He's a chaos agent for them.

Putin, a former KGB agent who is highly intellugent vs our dumb-fuck ass narcissistic, pathologial liar of a president....who wins in this match-up?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LolaGranola wrote:
Don't blame all of us, under 20% of us voted for him.

#notALLamericans
laugh
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Tell this author not to be so level-headed!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G Rowls
msg tools
Professional Agitation Consultant... HTTP Error 418 I'm a Teapot!
Avatar
mbmb
abadolato01 wrote:


Tell this author not to be so level-headed!


But Benghazi !!! her emails!!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Jester
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
"We have now sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."--George Orwell
Avatar
mbmbmb
Lotana wrote:
Quote:
He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible.


How the hell does a person like that has had a successful political campaign and became president of the bigglest superpower on the planet?!

It is surreal! I will never understand you Americans...


I don't understand us either, man. Waking up to a Trump win was like waking up to find that California had been annexed by Russia overnight, or that the national currency had been changed to jelly beans. So far beyond belief that I still half expect to wake up from a weird fever dream. (And I wasn't even a Democrat or a liberal.)

My pride and faith in my country went off a cliff that day.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zedsdead wrote:
Lotana wrote:
Quote:
He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible.


How the hell does a person like that has had a successful political campaign and became president of the bigglest superpower on the planet?!

It is surreal! I will never understand you Americans...


I don't understand us either, man. Waking up to a Trump win was like waking up to find that California had been annexed by Russia overnight, or that the national currency had been changed to jelly beans. So far beyond belief that I still half expect to wake up from a weird fever dream. (And I wasn't even a Democrat or a liberal.)

My pride and faith in my country went off a cliff that day.


Democracy requires that we give the uneducated (and even the stupid educated) the right to vote. Consequently, there will be some bumps in the road. This situation, although disheartening, should have been expected at some point in our history. We just live with the misery of that "some point" being today.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LolaGranola wrote:
Don't blame all of us, under 20% of us voted for him.
a big chunk of the rest sat on their hands.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bat Profile
United States
Sandworms USA
Plateau of Leng
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Putting that much effort, time and money into a fool is not something that makes sense.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zedsdead wrote:
Lotana wrote:
Quote:
He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible.


How the hell does a person like that has had a successful political campaign and became president of the bigglest superpower on the planet?!

It is surreal! I will never understand you Americans...


I don't understand us either, man. Waking up to a Trump win was like waking up to find that California had been annexed by Russia overnight, or that the national currency had been changed to jelly beans. So far beyond belief that I still half expect to wake up from a weird fever dream. (And I wasn't even a Democrat or a liberal.)

My pride and faith in my country went off a cliff that day.

I think it is worth pointing out that they felt like this too. I remember a lot of people saying "what happened to my country" out loud in sincere stunned disbelief after Obama's first win. My personal belief is that most of this wasn't simply because he was a Democrat but that we elected a black man as President. I don't think many people would come right out and say this (some would) but I think most people were just rattled that their reality had changed so much seemingly so fast. Obama was ultimately a centrist so the level of virulence has to be explained somehow and I think racism (both conscious and subconscious) played a large part.

The second blow came from the Obama re-election. My understanding is that Republicans really felt they had that in the bag and that Romney was going to win. Looking back I realize now that I (and many liberals) had failed to notice just how isolated a large portion of the population was and that they were taking refuge under the thrall and fantasy of Fox News.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Iniguez
United States
Idaho Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Altair IV wrote:
Putting that much effort, time and money into a fool is not something that makes sense.


From Russia's standpoint? I disagree, given the blow to US global diplomatic influence, and weakening the unity of the western world, even an uncontrolled Trump has paid off amazingly for the Russians.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Pustilnik
United States
Bronx
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sutehk wrote:


From Russia's standpoint? I disagree, given the blow to US global diplomatic influence, and weakening the unity of the western world, even an uncontrolled Trump has paid off amazingly for the Russians.


For Putin and his buddies, you are right. For the Russian people, not so much.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adrian Hague
United Kingdom
Bristol
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
RAWKET LAWNCHA!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zedsdead wrote:
My pride and faith in my country went off a cliff that day.

Brexit: "Hold my beer..."
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bern Harkins
United States
Buffalo
New York
flag msg tools
Do the right thing. It's usually obvious.
badge
I has a stick! A tiny green stick!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MikePustilnik wrote:
Sutehk wrote:


From Russia's standpoint? I disagree, given the blow to US global diplomatic influence, and weakening the unity of the western world, even an uncontrolled Trump has paid off amazingly for the Russians.


For Putin and his buddies, you are right. For the Russian people, not so much.



We're not fighting Russia. We're fighting a cabal of fucking Bond villains with no shame and great resources.

They are well aware their biggest threats are functioning court systems.

So their play is to attack democracies, drive a wedge between the people and their governments, then blame the government for every misery... and make sure there's a much misery as they can manage without spurring an attack.

I don't think they expected Trump to win, an are now a little freaked out; NATO is taking a beating, but they have provided the most powerful military force ever built with casus belli.

They have certainly not stopped their divisive attacks, but they seem a bit wary.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I generally like the Russian people I've met. They don't seem evil, but maybe that's part of their plan....
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Altair IV wrote:
Putting that much effort, time and money into a fool is not something that makes sense.


I agree with Seth.

Also remember, Russia puts some effort, time and money into a LOT of people. I guarantee, any prominent Western businessman who travels to the USSR/Russia got close, close attention. They look for what make them tick, what their desires are (at least, money, if in Russia for business), what their attitudes to Russia are. 99% of the time, nothing comes of it. But you cast your net widely enough, and you get some interesting fish.

Trump is one of them. He went there in the '80s and has been pursuing opening a big hotel in Russia somewhat quixotically for a long time. But beyond that failure, he got tons of financing from Russia. Source: Eric Trump, who said in 2013 or so that most Trump Org financing came from Russia.

Foreign businessmen getting big financing from Russia means cash from oligarchs. Whatever their personal thoughts, in modern Russia "oligarch" means "a rich person who has not been destroyed by Putin". And foreign businessmen getting big financing from Russia are probably getting it from dubious sources. Which Trump needed since his credit rating among banks not called Deutsche Bank had plummeted way below sub-prime what with his habit of repeat bankruptcies.

So - not a huge effort on Trump for the first 20 or 30 years of it. But, one that paid off hugely. Sometimes, longshots pay off.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Silence is golden.
badge
Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wifwendell wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
Putting that much effort, time and money into a fool is not something that makes sense.


I agree with Seth.

Also remember, Russia puts some effort, time and money into a LOT of people. I guarantee, any prominent Western businessman who travels to the USSR/Russia got close, close attention. They look for what make them tick, what their desires are (at least, money, if in Russia for business), what their attitudes to Russia are. 99% of the time, nothing comes of it. But you cast your net widely enough, and you get some interesting fish.

Trump is one of them. He went there in the '80s and has been pursuing opening a big hotel in Russia somewhat quixotically for a long time. But beyond that failure, he got tons of financing from Russia. Source: Eric Trump, who said in 2013 or so that most Trump Org financing came from Russia.

Foreign businessmen getting big financing from Russia means cash from oligarchs. Whatever their personal thoughts, in modern Russia "oligarch" means "a rich person who has not been destroyed by Putin". And foreign businessmen getting big financing from Russia are probably getting it from dubious sources. Which Trump needed since his credit rating among banks not called Deutsche Bank had plummeted way below sub-prime what with his habit of repeat bankruptcies.

So - not a huge effort on Trump for the first 20 or 30 years of it. But, one that paid off hugely. Sometimes, longshots pay off.

In many ways it is like campaign finance corruption in the US. Companies will donate to both sides of a campaign, doesnt seem to make sense but whichever side wins, they benefit.

I'm sure the Donald was a long-shot but whatever they "invested" in him seems to have paid off 100 fold.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Speaking of Eric Trump and Trump financing:

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A B
msg tools
Zedsdead wrote:
Lotana wrote:
Quote:
He is greedy, has lax morals and shame, isn’t particularly patriotic, has a difficult time with right and wrong and is easy to manipulate. He would be easy to exploit and entice into stepping over the line into a conspiratorial relationship. However, he would be essentially impossible to control. His narcissism, poor memory and ego would make it all but impossible for him to follow directions and keep a secret. He would be a nightmare to debrief. He blathers about things he doesn’t understand, never admits that he is not an expert, is loathe to admit mistakes, lies constantly and is barely intelligible.


How the hell does a person like that has had a successful political campaign and became president of the bigglest superpower on the planet?!

It is surreal! I will never understand you Americans...


I don't understand us either, man. Waking up to a Trump win was like waking up to find that California had been annexed by Russia overnight, or that the national currency had been changed to jelly beans. So far beyond belief that I still half expect to wake up from a weird fever dream. (And I wasn't even a Democrat or a liberal.)

My pride and faith in my country went off a cliff that day.

I don't think that it is fair to portray Trump as an weird American thing or even an exception. An actor like Ronald Reagan becoming POTUS was already pretty weird (but at least the guy had manners) and there have been many buffonish heads of states worldwide in the 21st century. Examples are Berlusconi, Ahmadinejad, Boris Johnson as a lower level politician and so on.

So it seems like a general trend worldwide and it is pretty freightening. Without wanting to sound reactionary or wish for the supposed "good old days", half a century ago politicians on all sides of the aisle did at least have manners. Even total crooks like Nixon did at least try to behave statesman-like.


On the other hand Trump is an exception in terms of his psychological issues being more clearly perceivable than in the case of any other politician I am aware of. You don't have to be a psychologist to realize that he is a narcissist and there are some indications that he might a psychopath (most psychopaths in positions of power are good at concealing it).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walt
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Before terraforming Mars, Surviving Mars is required: Paradox Interactive; Steam.
badge
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
askirmisher2 wrote:
I don't think that it is fair to portray Trump as an weird American thing or even an exception. An actor like Ronald Reagan becoming POTUS was already pretty weird (but at least the guy had manners) ....

Reagan also had his "Kitchen Cabinet" of seasoned advisors that he mostly listened to. It didn't stop him from the odd foolishness, but mostly things went along well.
___

The investment Russia has made is really small. Trump gets gooey around any autocrat, and Putin is very capable of manipulating that. Add, perhaps, promises of more Russian bank loans, a safe place to retire to, women.... And if those promises were made, Putin probably made them after Trump had chased away US translators. And as any Diplomacy player knows, not keeping your promises is no problem if you win.

The next President is going to have to seriously beef up US cyber security and offense, and hammer Russia. I wonder how all those human Russian hackers will do against supercomputer AI hackers? And the Chinese, though they're more venal than political, it seems.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.