Trump doesn’t qualify as an accomplice to Putin because he’s too unreliable. But he’s clearly under the strongman’s spell, not quite a dupe but close to one. If you want to understand Trump’s relations with Russia, you need to know how the Russian establishment views him, which is pretty much as a useful idiot, according to Michael Weiss‘s recent New York Review of Books article reblogged here.
Trump’s Russia connections go back to the dawn of klepto-capitalism in the Motherland, and he’s been carefully cultivated and curated by Russian intelligence ever since. What Weiss discloses doesn’t rise to a level that might enable Robert Mueller to indict Trump for treason, but it surely demonstrates that for all his blustering, Trump’s strings can be easily pulled by any tempter or temptress savvy enough to stroke his fragile ego.
Of course, if Putin can exploit Trump’s narcissism and inferiority complex, so might Saudi Arabia, Israel, or any despot eager to curry favor. Our President is a walking, golf-cart-riding head case. Everybody finagling for influence will try to get a piece of him, and many will succeed. It’s unfortunate that the media tends to report Trump’s consequent erratic and unpredictable behavior as chaos rather than explaining why it comes to pass. But now you know better; it’s all rooted in Trump’s psychopathology.
Read Weiss’s rundown of Trump’s longstanding Russian connections.
Thank you Michael Weiss. We needed that.