Brit Spy Reveals Kremlin Blocked Trump From Naming Mitt Romney As Secretary Of State

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The Kremlin is neck-deep in the Donald Trump presidential campaign. Trump is known for his fondness for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and this has begun to look really bad.

An English spy-turned-investigator, Michael Steele, realized he had stepped onto a political landmine after he wrote the infamous Trump dossier. He reported Russia’s involvement into Trump’s campaign to the FBI. Later, he gave it to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and some of the press.

Steele apparently talked to the special counsel investigating Russiagate, Robert Mueller, about a memo he wrote in late November 2016, after he completed his work for the firm that contracted the dossier. It was sourced to “a senior Russian official.”

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That official said there were rumors floating around the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affair. Steele was floored with what people there were saying, The New Yorker reported:

‘The Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy—and an incoming President.’

Trump never forgets a grudge, yet he invited Mitt Romney to dinner, supposedly as a job interview for Secretary of State. Then, the real estate mogul publicly rejected him. It was humiliating for Romney.

There were other possible explanations for Trump to dump Romney. The former Massachusetts never supported Trump for president, and the president never forgave him for that. Then, according to the White House, Romney was never a first choice.

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Instead, the president gave Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, the appointment. Tillerson has had long business ties to Moscow. He arranged an historic ExxonMobile-Rosneft partnership.

In fact, Putin awarded him a Russian state honor, the Order of Friendship, for that oil deal in 2013, according to Reuters. It was for his “significant contribution to strengthening cooperation in the energy sector” and awarded at Putin’s summer home.

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When, Putin was attending an economic forum, he told a U.S. citizen:

‘We awarded your compatriot Mr. Tillerson the Order of Friendship, but he seems to have fallen in with the wrong company and to be steering in the other direction. I hope that the wind of cooperation, friendship and reciprocity will eventually put him on the right path.’

Prior to this, the U.S. had imposed economic sanctions on Moscow in 2014 for annexing the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and its ties to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. That blocked Tillerson’s ExxonMobile deal with Russia.

During the transition period after the presidential election, Trump’s choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, called Russia and said the new president would lift those sanctions. That was one reason that Mueller could turn Flynn into a witness for the prosecution.

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Congress nearly unanimously voted to impose more sanctions on Russia to retaliate against them for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. However, Trump and Tillerson have refused to enact them.

For Steele’s efforts to protect the U.S.’s democracy, Republicans have worked hard to accuse him of a crime.

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Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.