Carl Bernstein has sources who imply that a draft of the Mueller report will discuss whether Trump facilitated Putin’s goals.
“This is about the most serious counterintelligence people we have in the U.S. government saying, ‘Oh, my God, the president’s words and actions lead us to conclude that somehow he has become a witting, unwitting, or half-witting pawn, certainly in some regards, to Vladimir Putin,’” Bernstein explained during his appearance on Reliable Sources .
“From a point of view of strength… rather, he has done what appears to be Putin’s goals. He has helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the election, no matter whether it was purposeful or not,” the journalist added. He then explained that he knew from his own high-level sources that Mueller’s report would discuss this assessment.
“And that is part of what the draft of Mueller’s report, I’m told, is to be about,” he said. “We know there has been collusion by [former national security adviser Michael] Flynn. We know there has been collusion of some sort by [Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul] Manafort. The question is, yes, what did the president know and when did he know it?”
- — Trump has a long financial history with Russia. As summarized by Jonathan Chait in an invaluable New York magazine article: “From 2003 to 2017, people from the former USSR made 86 all-cash purchases — a red flag of potential money laundering — of Trump properties, totaling $109 million.
- — The Russians interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help elect Trump president.
- — Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on July 27, 2016 (“Russia, if you’re listening”), on the very day that Russian intelligence hackers tried to attack Clinton’s personal and campaign servers.
- — There were, according to the Moscow Project, “101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives,” and “the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.”
- — The Trump campaign was full of individuals, such as Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Michael Flynn, with suspiciously close links to Moscow.
- — Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign for free and was heavily in debt to a Russian oligarch, now admits to offering his Russian business partner, who is suspected of links to Russian intelligence, polling data that could have been used to target the Russian social media campaign on behalf of Trump.
- — Trump associate Roger Stone, who was in contact with Russian conduit WikiLeaks, reportedly knew in advance that the Russians had hacked Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. (Stone has denied it .)
- — Once in office, Trump fired Comey to stop the investigation of the “Russia thing” — and then bragged about having done so to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister while also sharing with them top-secret information.
- — Trump has refused to consistently acknowledge that Russia interfered in the U.S. election or mobilize a government-wide effort to stop future interference.
- — Like no previous president, Trump attacks and undermines the Justice Department and the FBI (“a cancer in our country”) — two institutions that stand on the front lines of combatting Russian espionage and influence operations in the United States.
- — Again, like no previous president, Trump attacks and undermines the European Union and NATO
- — Trump supports populist, pro-Russian leaders in Europe, such as Viktor Orban in Hungary and Marine Le Pen in France, just as the Russians do.
- — Trump has praised Putin (“a strong leader”) while trashing just about everyone else from grade-B Hollywood celebrities to leaders of allied nations.
- — Trump was utterly supine in his meetings with Putin, principally in Hamburg and Helsinki.
- — Trump defends the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and repeats other pro-Russian talking points.
- — Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, handing that country to Russia and its ally Iran.
- — Trump has effectively done nothing in response to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in international waters, thereby encouraging greater Russian aggression.
- — Trump is sowing chaos in the government, most recently with a record-breaking partial government shutdown and “acting” appointees in key posts such as the Defense Department and Justice Department, thus furthering a Russian objective of undermining its chief adversary.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 14, 2019
Regarding this NYT story from this weekend, imagine you are a FBI Agent working Russian counterintelligence in 2016 and you witness the following: https://t.co/uajSa5sfuX
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) January 13, 2019