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DonViejo

(60,536 posts)
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 07:49 AM Jan 2021

'The perfect target': Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years - ex-KGB spy

Source: The Guardian



The KGB ‘played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality’, Yuri Shvets, a key source for a new book, tells the Guardian

David Smith in Washington
@smithinamerica
Fri 29 Jan 2021 03.00 EST

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.

Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.

Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/29/trump-russia-asset-claims-former-kgb-spy-new-book

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'The perfect target': Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years - ex-KGB spy (Original Post) DonViejo Jan 2021 OP
It's unlikely Trump was the only one dlk Jan 2021 #1
+100000 Pachamama Jan 2021 #3
+++ agree. nt iluvtennis Jan 2021 #25
My family has discussed this for years. southerncrone Jan 2021 #43
They cast very wide nets Rural_Progressive Jan 2021 #24
Do you remember during Obama's term suddenly the GOP was very pro-Russia apnu Feb 2021 #48
Flattery will get you everywhere, Vladimir. Kid Berwyn Jan 2021 #2
Trump must have been so easy PatSeg Jan 2021 #4
Craig Unger talks about It. Kid Berwyn Jan 2021 #5
The Russians certainly know how to play the long game PatSeg Jan 2021 #7
McTurtle? Layzeebeaver Jan 2021 #6
From what we've witnessed the past four years PatSeg Jan 2021 #8
I'd add Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, and Josh Howley to that list. Initech Jan 2021 #20
Remember former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher PatSeg Jan 2021 #23
I live really close to his district. Initech Jan 2021 #26
And yet he served 30 years in congress PatSeg Jan 2021 #30
Oh he has to be on their payroll no question. Initech Jan 2021 #31
Oh yes, its like a Tom Clancy thriller PatSeg Jan 2021 #32
I'd say it's equal parts Tom Clancy and Wes Craven. Initech Jan 2021 #34
Oh yes PatSeg Jan 2021 #36
Chair of the House Intelligece Committee - nice catbird seat if he was BComplex Jan 2021 #37
Oh, how convenient PatSeg Jan 2021 #38
The other very effective side of this gambit is the American unwillingness to believe it. byronius Jan 2021 #9
+1 pandr32 Jan 2021 #17
Act on what we (royal) know? Our legal system is set up to play the waiting game Backseat Driver Jan 2021 #29
My opinion is this is some dude just trying to make some money off of Trump haters. Calista241 Jan 2021 #10
Spot on. Shvets and Unger is again stretching reality to fit the best selling lists... TomVilmer Jan 2021 #18
"the Russian Federation, under Yeltsin, was flat broke" PSPS Jan 2021 #22
but between then and now... Layzeebeaver Jan 2021 #33
You miss a couple of points... regnaD kciN Jan 2021 #40
Well, maybe Calista241 Jan 2021 #42
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!! Ford_Prefect Jan 2021 #11
You know about that lavish palace on the Black Sea? I bet it's the trump family new dacha. erronis Jan 2021 #12
If so, it will only be so temporarily... regnaD kciN Jan 2021 #41
Now, if this can only be proven: Oldem Jan 2021 #13
trump was Putin's puppet for four years Gothmog Jan 2021 #14
This is why it should be a stipulation that before a candidate can be nominated they must be fully onetexan Jan 2021 #15
Oh, C'mon!! AZ8theist Jan 2021 #16
It simply isn't rational how Trump defended Russia/Putin at every turn. world wide wally Jan 2021 #19
I'm skeptical of most conspiracy theories, but I totally believe this one. Nitram Jan 2021 #21
Good grief, Charlie Brown! Backseat Driver Jan 2021 #27
Of course Bigredhunk Jan 2021 #28
I think Malcolm Nance bagimin Jan 2021 #35
K&R uppityperson Jan 2021 #39
What the Soviets and Russians needed most out of Trump is money laundering services jmowreader Jan 2021 #44
This message was self-deleted by its author Freelancer Jan 2021 #45
This is a great article nam78_two Jan 2021 #46
K&R ck4829 Feb 2021 #47

Pachamama

(16,829 posts)
3. +100000
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 09:24 AM
Jan 2021

Follow the money, the travel and associations with key people....follow the Kompromat.

There are different categories - the various people who were “groomed” as assets. Then the people who became their blackmailed targets.

I have been saying for years now that the real explanation for people like Lindsay Graham, Kevin McCarthy, Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz, Devin Nunes, etc

Then there are the Rupert Murdoch’s and business and media...

southerncrone

(5,506 posts)
43. My family has discussed this for years.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 11:34 PM
Jan 2021

Once, "Daddy" died, he needed someone to bail him out from his multiple business failures. Enter KGB.

I predict we will see a steady peeling back of the layers exposing a vast number of politicians & business leaders who are bought & paid for by the KGB.

Anyone who has been really paying attention over the years can see this is clearly a strong possibility. Some of these politicians who are continually re-elected despite horrible polling stats, & even scandals, make you wonder HOW could this happen.

Stay tuned.

apnu

(8,707 posts)
48. Do you remember during Obama's term suddenly the GOP was very pro-Russia
Mon Feb 1, 2021, 08:11 AM
Feb 2021

Right around the time Republicans were passing around memes of Putin, shirtless, riding a horse and compared it with a photoshopped pic of Obama on some beach in Hawaii?

That's when the Russian full-court press was on hunting for Republicans susceptible to their propaganda.

There are many others in the the Republican party. They are "useful idiots" (in Russian terms), meaning they are easily led, easily steered. Its not like they are actual double-agents, more like easily corruptible tools.

Kid Berwyn

(14,304 posts)
2. Flattery will get you everywhere, Vladimir.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 08:14 AM
Jan 2021

The Cambridge Five, OTOH, did it for ideology.

The KGB find the key.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
4. Trump must have been so easy
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 09:38 AM
Jan 2021

with his compulsive need for praise combined with his endless financial problems. Putin's chump.

Kid Berwyn

(14,304 posts)
5. Craig Unger talks about It.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 09:45 AM
Jan 2021

Haven’t listened to the whole thing, but, wow.

Unger is a veteran journalist and author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Bush, House of Saud, and House of Trump, House of Putin.

Unger writes that Trump was rescued multiple bankruptcies by millions in Russian cash laundered through his real estate in the 80s and 90s.

The grooming included an invitation to Russia by a high-level KGB official in 1987 under the guise of a preliminary scouting trip to build a Trump hotel in Moscow. Unger says the trip, was in fact ‘deep development’ by KGB handlers that furthered creating secret back channels and allowed the Russians to influence and damage American democracy, the author claims.


Source: https://www.wmnf.org/radioactivity-thursday-veteran-journalist-craig-unger-on-his-latest-book-american-kompromat/

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
7. The Russians certainly know how to play the long game
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 09:57 AM
Jan 2021

I'm sure Russian handlers had many a good laugh at Trump's expense. He is like a child in his desperate need for praise and attention.

Layzeebeaver

(1,508 posts)
6. McTurtle?
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 09:54 AM
Jan 2021

We need a similar informational reveal regarding ALL government officials. I would not bet against aggressor nations managing moles on both parties.

The expert quoted above is from the CCCP.

As a side challenge question - Have any western nations EVER had a very high value spy successfully defect from China?

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
8. From what we've witnessed the past four years
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:00 AM
Jan 2021

I'd venture there are quite a few in congress right now, some pretty obviously compromised.

Initech

(99,761 posts)
20. I'd add Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, and Josh Howley to that list.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 11:36 AM
Jan 2021

And yeah I'm sure there are others.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
23. Remember former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 12:00 PM
Jan 2021

He served 15 terms in congress and apparently it was common knowledge among his republican colleagues, that he was a Russian asset. Instead of being outraged and shocked, they made jokes about it. If Rohrabacher's close ties to Russia were treated so lightly, I'm sure there are plenty more who just aren't quite so obvious. That fact that so many republicans in DC don't treat this as a major scandal is absolutely alarming.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
30. And yet he served 30 years in congress
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 12:39 PM
Jan 2021

That pretty much tells other politicians that anything goes and you won't be held accountable. I wouldn't be surprised if Devin Nunes was groomed by Russians as well.

Initech

(99,761 posts)
31. Oh he has to be on their payroll no question.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 12:52 PM
Jan 2021

I keep wondering who the mystery Congressperson that was sending anonymous text messages to the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys leaders during the riots, and I think I have my list narrowed down.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
32. Oh yes, its like a Tom Clancy thriller
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 01:01 PM
Jan 2021

and I think there will be plenty of surprises in the future. I wonder how many seditionists are actually in congress right now. Pelosi wouldn't have said anything publicly if she wasn't sure, she's not known to be careless. If she said something, then she knows.

As exciting as this is, I wish it was a movie instead of real life. I want to believe it is too far-fetched to be real, but I know that's not true. Very real and very scary.

Initech

(99,761 posts)
34. I'd say it's equal parts Tom Clancy and Wes Craven.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 01:11 PM
Jan 2021

We're literally living in a horror movie right now and you don't know what is going to happen from one day to the next. And turning the page, things just get worse and worse.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
36. Oh yes
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 01:48 PM
Jan 2021

And throw in a bit of satire as well, maybe along the lines of Dr. Strangelove or Wag the Dog, as so much of this is too hard to believe.

PatSeg

(46,275 posts)
38. Oh, how convenient
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 03:06 PM
Jan 2021

I just now read that he was on the shortlist for Secretary of State under Trump. I'm surprised Putin didn't push for his nomination, but maybe that was too obvious even for him.

byronius

(7,343 posts)
9. The other very effective side of this gambit is the American unwillingness to believe it.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:12 AM
Jan 2021

It's been in plain sight all along since the very beginning. Yet even some on our side are hesitant to accept it.

Classic human psychology. The Russians have been the masters of this game for a century.

We're still in danger. We should act.

Backseat Driver

(4,284 posts)
29. Act on what we (royal) know? Our legal system is set up to play the waiting game
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 12:26 PM
Jan 2021

for getting "the bigger/est fish" while culprits beneath roam around w/electronic ankle bracelets and get plea deals that lessen their criminal culpability (apparently up to complete immunity of prosecution) and eventual judicial sentences (that have operated on multi-tiers of justice since Day 1 of the Constitution's signing).

Media sources of CTs don't help unravel the Gordian knots of global ideological political power gamesmanship.

Calista241

(5,575 posts)
10. My opinion is this is some dude just trying to make some money off of Trump haters.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:14 AM
Jan 2021

Trump, for 45 years, was just some rich guy in NYC. The USSR, for much of the early / mid Trump period, had significant money issues, and the Russian Federation, under Yeltsin, was flat broke. To my knowledge, Trump made zero effort to extoll the virtues of communism or to denigrate the United States in any sort of public manner, which would be the only use for a semi-famous rich real estate dude in NYC. Much the opposite, he embraced capitalism.

The extent of my knowledge of Trump, before he ran for President, was that he had some casino's and hotels. Mike Tyson liked him, and he was on that stupid show, The Apprentice, which I never, ever watched. The most significant things of note he did was get in a public fight with the mayor of NYC over zoning, and his involvement with the Central Park Five case.

Then all of a sudden, in his early 70's, he decides to run for President. The initial days of his campaign were funny. He was a train wreck and America could not look away.

To this day I believe Russia never expected Trump to win and was intending to damage the future Clinton Presidency by hacking her email and dripping it out. I suspect they had much, much more information, which they would have released periodically throughout her tenure. We only ever saw one person's emails from Guccifer 2.0, and that email server had a lot of other shit on it. Every press conference Hillary or her Press Secretary had would have been about some new revelation about Clinton.

PSPS

(13,427 posts)
22. "the Russian Federation, under Yeltsin, was flat broke"
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 11:55 AM
Jan 2021

There has always been the oligarch class with lots of cash needing to be converted to something of value outside the country. They shuttle between their dachas while the plebeians scramble for potatoes, not that different from the US these days.

Layzeebeaver

(1,508 posts)
33. but between then and now...
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 01:07 PM
Jan 2021

...how much Russian intelligence activity was/is funded via oligarchs, dark money and personal favours?

regnaD kciN

(26,024 posts)
40. You miss a couple of points...
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 08:05 PM
Jan 2021
To my knowledge, Trump made zero effort to extoll the virtues of communism or to denigrate the United States in any sort of public manner, which would be the only use for a semi-famous rich real estate dude in NYC. Much the opposite, he embraced capitalism.

...he didn't have to "extol the virtues of communism" to be useful to the U.S.S.R., and he didn't "sudden(ly), in his early '70s," decide to run for president. On the contrary, as the article mentions, he first floated a run for president in 1988 (only months after his visit to the Soviet Union), and again in 2000. In 1988, right at the end of the "Morning in America" era, his brief run included an open letter/advertisement in major papers calling for U.S. foreign policy to distance itself from N.A.T.O. and stop spending its defense funding on Japan. It doesn't take a master diplomat to realize that both of those proposals would have been music to the ears of the Soviet Politburo just as much as they would be to their current Russian successor.

When they groomed Trump in the '70s and '80s, did the KGB expect that Trump would eventually become president? Highly unlikely. But was it to their advantage to reel him in, with the expectation that he could become prominent in the Republican Party (and, being the very image of capitalist success would have made sure he was welcome there, or in the emerging "Third Way" Democratic wing, for that matter) and thus become a major voice for isolationism? I'm guessing that was their real goal, and it paid off admirably.

Calista241

(5,575 posts)
42. Well, maybe
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:19 PM
Jan 2021

But floating a run in 1988 and finally doing it in 2016 doesn't represent a good return on investment for the Soviets, whose own government collapsed in 1991.

And this article is attesting to millions being invested in Trump by the Russians. Even hugely successful spies for the Russians didn't rake in millions. Robert Hanssen was perhaps the worst of the worst spy for the Russians. An FBI agent, he fed the Russians highly sensitive, actionable information for over 20 years, and he was paid a grand total of just over $1m over those 20 years.

Trump also publicly professed to be a Democrat in the early 2000's, and everyone thought he was one up until just before his run in 2016. His past political donations went to Democrats all over the country by a pretty wide margin.

Ford_Prefect

(7,698 posts)
11. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:20 AM
Jan 2021

You start to wonder just how much other penetration there is? What with the NRA, certain members of congress and senate, Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire, and the GOP hierarchy all acting so adamantly defensive about the Donald? Prior to Jan.6th. that is.

And then there is the matter of so many judges and "Trump loyalists" installed throughout the length and breadth of our government.

Who's steering them and paying them? Are they part of the siege on American government such as the GOP in AZ and Michigan?

erronis

(14,696 posts)
12. You know about that lavish palace on the Black Sea? I bet it's the trump family new dacha.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:29 AM
Jan 2021

Putie says it's not his and he's the only one who can order the no-fly, no-walk/drive/swim zone around this monstrosity.

I didn't see a golf course but it could be underground....

regnaD kciN

(26,024 posts)
41. If so, it will only be so temporarily...
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 08:16 PM
Jan 2021

Pootie-Poot may not "own" it now, but he'll take it over for kopeks on the ruble once the ex-President suddenly passes away from an unexpected illness that also strikes down his entire family (except for Melania and Ivanka, who will be invited to stay on...).

Gothmog

(142,848 posts)
14. trump was Putin's puppet for four years
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:39 AM
Jan 2021

trump has hurt America a great deal in serving the interests of Putin

onetexan

(12,921 posts)
15. This is why it should be a stipulation that before a candidate can be nominated they must be fully
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:58 AM
Jan 2021

vetted by the intelligence communities so crap like this can be made known to the public.

AZ8theist

(5,264 posts)
16. Oh, C'mon!!
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 10:59 AM
Jan 2021

As if we "back-easters" didn't know Doturd was a Russian stooge decades ago.....

The greatest con-job in American history was convincing the rubes he some kind of competent "business" man.....
Complete fucking nonsense.

world wide wally

(21,696 posts)
19. It simply isn't rational how Trump defended Russia/Putin at every turn.
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 11:21 AM
Jan 2021

Even about targeting American troops in Afghanistan.
There is definitely something fishy between Russia and Trump.

Backseat Driver

(4,284 posts)
27. Good grief, Charlie Brown!
Fri Jan 29, 2021, 12:05 PM
Jan 2021

Anyone got any other older media articles that confirm what Craig Unger's source revealed to him for the purpose of this Guardian pre-release teaser piece?

I tried to verify the claim that "Trump bought 200 television sets for the hotel from Semyon Kislin, a Soviet émigré who co-owned Joy-Lud electronics on Fifth Avenue. That company is real enough...and I followed the named CEO at the following link on a pretty wild ride through browser searches, though...

https://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2nmu6h/joy-lud-electronics-inc

jmowreader

(50,349 posts)
44. What the Soviets and Russians needed most out of Trump is money laundering services
Sat Jan 30, 2021, 12:23 AM
Jan 2021

At least before he decided to get into politics. The USSR and Russia have always had a lot of dirty money sitting around, and someone who at least looks legitimate, like Trump, would come in very handy.

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

nam78_two

(14,510 posts)
46. This is a great article
Sun Jan 31, 2021, 06:44 AM
Jan 2021

The KGB seems to have a natural flair for this sort of stuff. The sort of behavioral modification that a stupider group might only manage to do with invasive surveillance can be done in low tech ways by organically creepy people who know how to pump people, exploit their weaknesses, fears etc. In Trump they had excellent raw material as well.

Between organically creepy people and basically creepy people equipped with surveillance tech, this is a creep's paradise..for the rest of us, it is hell of course.
I cannot believe that dreck that tabloids, garden variety sexual harassers and other such creeps not to mention your village gossip could do better is now considered some sort of behavioral science.

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