We are all old enough to remember when the thought of a President of the United States substantially and consistently serving Russia even when it runs counter to our nation’s best interest was unthinkable. It was also not so long ago when people first began to suggest that something fishy was going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. We have now graduated to the point where our own intelligence agents are not debating the notion of a suspicious Trump-Russia connection but the nature of it.
Before leaving for the G7 summit in Quebec last year, Trump made the bold assertion that Russia should rejoin the group, even though nothing has changed since Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014, which was the act that prompted Russia’s removal. At this year’s recent summit in Biarritz, Trump pushed harder on his desire to bring Russia back into the fold. Not only did Trump continue to defend Russia’s aggression, but he blamed President Barack Obama for everything. “It was embarrassing to him, and he wanted Russia to be out of what was called the G8. He was outsmarted by Putin, he was outsmarted,” he told reporters at a press conference. “President Putin outsmarted President Obama,” Trump repeated about his predecessor, just as he does when promoting other false narratives such as “No collusion!”
The reality is that a majority of countries decided to oust Russia from the G8 to protest its Crimea annexation as a violation of international law. Trump’s ridiculous comments prompted Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, to slam Trump and declare that “under no condition” will the European Union agree to invite Russia to rejoin. In fact, looking ahead to next year’s summit, Tusk suggested that Ukraine should be invited as a guest.
According to a new report from Business Insider, Trump’s behavior at the G7 summit was so dangerous that it “floored” current and former U.S. spies. One FBI agent who works in counterintelligence called the level of Trump’s Russian advocacy a “new low,” asking “How does this serve U.S. national-security interests?” Many are convinced that Trump is a full-blown Russian asset while others believe Trump’s behavior could be more about cozying up to Putin for post-presidential business deals such as a Trump Tower in Moscow.
But even if Trump is more “useful idiot” than asset, the spies point out that there may very well be multiple Russian assets guiding Trump from within the White House. No matter what the true characterization of Trump’s role is, it appears the significant threat that the President of the United States poses to the United States will continue to grow for as long as Trump remains in office. So much for “America First.”