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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 03:30 PM

Mueller Is Investigating Trump as a Russian Asset - NY Mag.


Friday night, the New York Times published a bombshell report that the FBI has been investigating whether President Trump “had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” The story reframes the focus and purpose of the investigation now headed by Robert Mueller. The probe is not just about Russian election interference, or about Trump’s obstruction of the probe — it is about the secret relationship between Trump and Russia that appears to be causing both these things to happen.

The first question to ask yourself when absorbing this story is, what does it mean for a president to be working for Russia, and against the United States? Trump frequently says the United States would be better off if it got along better with Russia — and that position, right or wrong, is certainly not criminally suspect. Presidents obviously have the right to change American foreign policy, and to forge friendships with countries that had been previously hostile. Nixon’s overtures to China, or Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba, did not set off criminal investigations. The FBI would not investigate a president simply for harboring friendly views of a rival state.


The potential that Trump is working on behalf of Russia, therefore, by definition posits some kind of corrupt secret relationship. That is to say, it’s an investigation into whether Trump is a Russian asset.

When I wrote about this last summer, much of the pushback centered on the imagined accusation that Trump is a Russian “agent.” He is obviously not. An agent is not the same thing as an asset. An asset can describe a wide range of relationships, but in Trump’s case, it would mean that he is subject to sexual or financial blackmail, along with possibly some form of back-channel propaganda. We know for a fact that Trump is vulnerable to sexual blackmail, but that kind of leverage, if it exists, would be difficult for Mueller to obtain. (Sexual blackmail is only useful if you keep it locked up tightly.) It’s far more likely that Trump’s financial vulnerability opened him up to Russian leverage. And that is the kind of information American investigators can access.


https://www.google.com/amp/nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2019/01/mueller-investigating-trump-russian-asset.html

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Reply Mueller Is Investigating Trump as a Russian Asset - NY Mag. (Original post)
orangecrush Jan 12 OP
emulatorloo Jan 12 #1
orangecrush Jan 12 #2
dalton99a Jan 12 #3
orangecrush Jan 12 #5
Mr.Bill Jan 12 #4
orangecrush Jan 12 #6
UTUSN Jan 12 #7
orangecrush Jan 13 #8
peggysue2 Jan 13 #9
orangecrush Jan 13 #10

Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 03:58 PM

1. "Hard to understand how else ... Russophillic ideas...found their way into Trump's brain."

“It is hard to understand how else some of the idiosyncratic and bizarrely Russpohillic ideas he routinely spouts have found their way into Trump’s brain. His warning that tiny Montenegro is a threat to attack Russia, or his claim that the Soviet Union was right to invade Afghanistan in 1979, are not notions Trump would pick up from his normal routine of binge-watching Fox News.”

———

Great analysis, thanks for posting. Chait has done some very good reporting on Trump/Russia for a while now.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 04:20 PM

2. Great writing

Thank you, glad you enjoyed!

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 05:07 PM

3. Important details.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:52 PM

5. Agree 100%

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:11 PM

4. I doubt Trump could find Afghanistan on a map. n/t

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:52 PM

6. inept


and idiotic.

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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 11:59 PM

7. K&R

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2019, 12:01 AM

8. Thanks!



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Response to orangecrush (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2019, 12:18 AM

9. Yup!

I, too, think he was drawn in because of the financial vulnerability and his reckless greed. He admitted his lifelong greediness at his rallies.

"My whole life, I've been greedy, greedy, greedy. Now I want to be greedy for America."

One of the few times he told the truth, other than the second sentence left incomplete. " Now I want to be greedy for America," . . . so the money I steal from the country will make me King of the World.

Plus Trump had mob ties, a money-laundering history long before he rode down that escalator. So did his father. He was the perfect, compromised greed-head for Putin to manipulate. No integrity, a falsifier for years and a huge ego, even though he's a complete ignoramus.

His performance in Helsinki should have finally convinced everyone--Trumpski is in Putin's pocket. And yes, there's probably plenty of dirt the Russians have on him. No wonder they were overjoyed on election night.

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 13, 2019, 10:56 AM

10. Absolutely.

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