What is the difference between Donald Trump and a Russian operative? The Russians use “kompromat,” short for “compromising materials.” Americans wondered if Moscow might blackmail POTUS. Maybe, Trump had financial ties to Russia. They should have asked whether Trump willingly handed Vladimir Putin kompromat to use against the US soldiers.
Of course, the US president said he read nothing, took no responsibility, and knew nothing. The White House line was that the CIA and military warned our allies, but not Trump. And people are supposed to believe that? Probably not.
Beginning in 2017 through now, senior military officials started warning the media and Congress that Kremlin was providing weapons to the Taliban for bounties on our precious sons and daughters in uniform and those of our allies in Afghanistan.
The Just Security publication interviewed former Trump administration officials. POTUS knew that Putin was giving weapons to this terrorist group. When US intelligence warned Trump, the US president took former the KGB agent’s word against them. Then, our commander-in-chief directed the CIA to give the Russians our intelligence on counterterrorism.
Why? In her new book, Trump’s niece Mary Trump, a trauma psychologist with a Ph.D. said that Trump’s father was a “dictator.” Daddy dearest.
The Russians could deny they put bounties on American soldiers by saying that they were arming the Taliban against a common enemy, ISIS. Yet, that weaponry was so sophisticated, the Taliban was winning against NATO and Afghan government forces.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense over Russia during the President Barack Obama era Michael Carpenter said:
‘When Western powers fail to push back, the Kremlin keeps prodding and probing — until it meets resistance, or until the costs for President Putin and his regime exceed the perceived benefits.’
‘The type of equipment the Russians transferred to the Taliban also shows how the Kremlin was becoming increasingly confrontational over time. At first, the Russians were mostly providing excess AK-47s, weapons that are found in almost every major global conflict. More recently, however, they also started transferring night-vision equipment, which is both in shorter supply in Russia but also specifically intended to equalize the gap between NATO forces and the Taliban. Throughout the conflict in Afghanistan, U.S. special forces have always “owned the night.’
Trump held a press conference on February 16, 2017, according to the White House transcript:
‘Note on President Trump: On Feb. 16, 2017 President Trump says in a press conference, “by the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia;” “If we could get along with Russia, that’s a positive thing. We have a very talented man, Rex Tillerson, who is going to be meeting with them shortly. And I told him, I said, I know politically it’s probably not good for me;” “if we could get along, it would be a positive thing, not a negative thing.”’
The Washinton Post reported:
Note on President Trump: On May 10, 2017, Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office, where the President reportedly passes highly classified information to the two Russian officials.
The POLITICO reported on May 25,2017:
‘Note on President Trump: On May 25, 2017, in Europe, Trump chastises NATO leaders for their “chronic underpayments” to the alliance and fails to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the Atlantic Charter for collective self-defense in a speech; the omission surprises Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and National Security Advisor McMaster, who endeavored to include language supporting Article 5 in Trump’s remarks prior to the summit.’
Then, Trump decided to end the US weapons program arming the Syrian rebels. A former White House official said:
‘This is a momentous decision. … Putin won in Syria.’
Washington Post Associate Editor David Ignatius wrote:
‘Nicholson’s 2018 interview was a rare public protest by a U.S. official. Trump didn’t press the Russians to stop, and so they continued.’
Secretary of Mike Pompeo held a press conference July 1, 2020. The Washington Post reported Pompeo claimed he repeatedly “confronted his Russian counterparts” about the weapons program. The reporter asked:
‘On this bounty issue, you had some conversations with senior Russian officials after your aides were told about evidence of the Russian bounties. Did you use those opportunities to tell Moscow not to endanger U.S. troops in that manner?’
‘We took this seriously; we handle it appropriately. The Russians have been selling small arms that have put Americans at risk there for 10 years. We have objected to it. To your point, when I meet with my Russian counterparts, I talk with them about this each time: “Stop this.” … So yes, maybe not every time, but with great frequency, when I speak to my Russian counterparts we talk about Afghanistan. We talk about the fact that we don’t want them engaged in this.’
A former Trump administration official told Just Security:
‘To my knowledge, this was never raised with Putin by Trump or any other senior officials, nor am I aware of any specific high-level pushes for this to be raised with senior Russian officials.’
Retired Senior Intelligence Service Official at the CIA Marc Polymeropoulos said:
‘There was a consistent push for CT cooperation with Moscow, coming from the White House, despite near universal belief within the IC that this effort would be one sided and end up being a waste of time and energy…
‘There was no ‘deep state push back, there was no stalling, there was a concerted effort to work with the Russians.’
Thursday the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s hearing. “Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops: Why Hasn’t the Administration Responded?”
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.