Monday’s joint press conference between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was shocking and treasonous on so many levels, some of what was said has received less attention than it should. For instance, even as pundits debate whether Trump’s behavior means he’s being blackmailed by Putin, most observers missed the fact that Putin not only told us he’s blackmailing Trump, he told us when and where he got the blackmail material from.
During the press conference, here’s the question that Putin was asked: “Do you, does the Russian government, have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?” Putin initially denied that he even knew Trump had visited Moscow. But then Putin couldn’t help but flaunt it while he was standing next to Trump. He added: “Take the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. There were over five hundred American businessmen, high ranking ones. Do you think we tried to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?”
Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. There would have been no reason for Putin to have been that specific about the venue, unless that was the venue. Putin made a point of naming the specific event where the blackmail material came from, only to facetiously deny that it happened. It was, presumably, his way of reminding Trump of just how much leverage he’s holding over him.
As for Putin’s assertion that Russia couldn’t have collected blackmail on everyone at the Forum, that’s good for a chuckle. It’s already well established that Putin was specifically focused on Trump by the time the Forum took place. So no, Russia wouldn’t have needed to focus on all five hundred American businessmen in attendance, just the one they were looking for leverage over. Not only did Putin just confirm he’s blackmailing Trump, he told us where the blackmail material came from – and he rubbed in Trump’s face for all to see.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report