This would be considered a scandal at any other time under any other presidency.
Donald Trump, who just announced to everyone that he trusts a former KGB agent over all 17 American intelligence agencies, is allowing the former head of KGB counter-intelligence to be handed the keys to US Embassy security in Moscow.
Mr. Viktor Budanov and his son Dmitry run Elite Security Holdings, which was just awarded the $2.83 million contract to run security for not only the Embassy, but US consulates in several cities to include St. Petersburg.
The contract and background of the firm was reported this past Friday in Kommersant, a Russian-language newspaper distributed in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Budanov was a Soviet spy who became the director of the KGB’s counter-intelligence division, and also headed the KGB branch in East Germany in the late 1980s. During that time, a young KGB officer named Vladimir Putin reported to him.
Even more maddening: Budanov worked with Britain’s most infamous Soviet double agent, Mr. Kim Philby, after Philby defected to the USSR in 1963. According to UK court proceedings, Budanov handled sensitive operations like teaching Bulgarian agents how to kill dissidents.
The UK Telegraph tried to seek answers from Rex Tillerson’s State Department on how it was okay that someone with Budanov’s background, who might just pose a significant “security or intelligence risk” to the United States, be allowed to provide security at the US Embassy.
The State Department said “no comment”.
Also troubling is the fact that Mr. Budanov was fiercely loyal to Putin and an outspoken critic of the United States.
Then again, the exact same could be said of Donald Trump, so I guess the Embassy staff is just screwed—at least until we can get our country back.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.