Donald Trump has this odd affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin and watch out when any staff member tries to give him negative Russian intelligence in his daily briefings. Instead, people working in the administration quickly learned to prepare the information the president sees, so he will not go “apoplectic.”
They learned that Trump felt strongly that U.S. intelligence “couldn’t be trusted.” The president refused to even consider that the Kremlin had a hand in getting him into office because that would take away from his own “strategy, message and charisma,” according to an exclusive report prepared by The Washington Post.
When Trump’s Cabinet members publicly confirmed the Russian intelligence report, he said:
January 11, the president addressed the Russian hacking:
‘As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. We also get hacked by other countries and other people.’
Yet, Trump immediately regretted his words:
‘It’s not me. It wasn’t right.’
The man sitting in the Oval Office spent nearly a year trying to discredit Kremlin attacks on the U.S. elections. Indeed, he has made no attempt to resist further Russian hacking. Instead, he has tried to roll back President Barack Obama’s sanction on the Russians for those attacks and fiercely resisted Congress imposing additional measures.
A White House official said:
‘The president obviously feels . . . that the idea that he’s been put into office by Vladimir Putin is pretty insulting.’
Current and former Trump officials said that the president’s daily brief (PDB), also known as daily intelligence update, is prepared “to avoid upsetting him.” The president said:
‘Intelligence agencies never should have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?’
After meeting with the Russian president at the Asian Summit, Trump said:
‘He said he didn’t meddle. Every time he sees me, he says, “I didn’t do that,” and I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.’
When Congress passed the sanctions measure, tying Trump’s hands, one adviser said:
‘He was raging. He was raging mad. (He was) apoplectic.’
The adviser said it took aides four days to get him to sign the bill. They told him Congress would veto it, and that would be worse.
Another official said Trump’s views are:
‘Not a constraint. Our first order in dealing with Russia is trying to counter a lot of the destabilizing activity that Russia engages in.’
CIA director for President George W. Bush, Michael Hayden said:
‘What the president has to say is, “We know the Russians did it, they know they did it, I know they did it, and we will not rest until we learn everything there is to know about how and do everything possible to prevent it from happening again.” (Trump) has never said anything close to that and will never say anything close to that.’
U.S. officials say that the Kremlin thinks that for under $500,000 it obtained its objective of:
‘Destabilizing U.S. democracy and preventing Hillary Clinton, who is despised by Putin, from reaching the White House.’
Former Russian adviser to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Andrew Weiss said:
‘Putin has to believe this was the most successful intelligence operation in the history of Russian or Soviet intelligence. It has driven the American political system into a crisis that will last years.’
Featured image via Washington Post Twitter Page.