The Washington Post has printed small portions of reporter Greg Miller’s new book — “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy” — which contains some draw-dropping new revelations about the relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin regularly feeds Trump’s well-documented paranoia about “the deep state.” Putin tells Trump that the deep state stands in the way of a lasting friendship between the United States and Russia. Trump undoubtedly wants a lasting friendship with Russia because it likely secures him personal riches, while Putin knows he gets to have that “lasting friendship” on his terms, because he controls the president who would make the deal.
“In phone conversations with Trump, Putin would whisper conspiratorially, telling the U.S. president that it wasn’t their fault that they could not consummate the relationship that each had sought,” reveals Miller. “Instead, Putin sought to reinforce Trump’s belief that he was being undermined by a secret government cabal, a bureaucratic ‘deep state.’”
Right, the “deep state” like John Bolton and Chief of Staff Kelly are saving Trump from himself by not allowing Trump to sell the country out. I suppose in that sense it is true, though Trump shouldn’t be complaining, since the “deep state” doesn’t include political appointees. (Actually, the deep state doesn’t exist, but if it did exist, it wouldn’t include people Trump handpicked.)
The book also reveals that White House aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — had to scramble to convince Trump to sign off on expelling Russian diplomats after Russian agents allegedly poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil.
According to Miller’s sources, “Trump worried that Putin would see him as the aggressor and accused aides of misleading him.”
How much sleep do you suppose Barrack Obama lost over the fact he might be seen to be an aggressor with respect to Russia? Hell, let’s make this bi-partisan, how much sleep do you suppose St. Reagan lost because he might appear to be aggressive against Russia?
What makes Trump different? Two things: 1) Putin (Russia) could not personally ruin Obama and/or Reagan, but he can personally ruin Trump, 2) Given that all Trump cares about is himself, he cannot appear to be aggressive because he worries it will lead to his personal ruin.
See, we know all that stuff just by being perceptive humans, knowing Trump’s past, putting two and two together, and concluding that only one explanation makes sense. STILL, it is different hearing it confirmed, hearing first person reports from people who know. That makes it “real” in a way that gets out of our head and into reporting that will make waves.
One thing we can be fairly sure of? Mueller knows. Mueller knows what Trump ate for breakfast, how many Diet Cokes Trump drinks in a day and the name and hair color of Trump’s current mistress. We can bet that Mueller knows all the above.
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