Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Atlanta, GA, United States (4E) – The only question now is if Donald Trump is a witting or unwitting stooge of Russia, this after retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters again vigorously asserted that dictator Vladimir Putin has “some sort of grip on Trump.”
Peters cited Trump’s puzzling and continuing affinity toward Putin, and his hesitation to speak critically of Russia despite incontrovertible evidence that Russia indeed meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that got Trump elected president. Trump has almost always refused to criticize Putin, and has instead praised him and his leadership. He only applied congressional sanctions on Russia in March 2018 after these sanctions were imposed in 2017.
Based on his intelligence experience working against Russian spies, Peters affirms that what he sees in Trump’s behavior are the signs of someone compromised by Russia. Peters also pointed to the “Steele Dossier,” a collection of memos and opposition research on Trump compiled by a former British intelligence agent. Peters said the dossier “rang true” to him because Trump “has no self-control, a sense of sexual entitlement and intermittent financial crises.”
“That’s made-to-order for seduction by Russian intelligence,” said Peters, who also who trained in Russian studies and the Russian language.
Also known as the Trump-Russia dossier, the Steele Dossier is a private intelligence report comprising 17 memos written from June to December 2016 by Christopher Steele, former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6). It contains allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections.
It says Trump campaign members and Russian operatives colluded to interfere in the election to benefit Trump. It also alleges that Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, including sharing negative information about Clinton with the Trump campaign.
Peters, a former military strategic analyst for Fox News, quit this job last March “because of the network’s propagandizing for the Trump administration. Today’s Fox prime-time lineup preaches paranoia, attacking processes and institutions vital to our republic and challenging the rule of law.”
He said he “was the one person on the Fox payroll who, trained in Russian studies and the Russian language, had been face to face with Russian intelligence officers in the Kremlin and in far-flung provinces. I have traveled widely in and written extensively about the region.
“Yet I could only rarely and briefly comment on the paramount security question of our time: whether Putin and his security services ensnared the man who would become our president. Trump’s behavior patterns and evident weaknesses (financial entanglements, lack of self-control and sense of sexual entitlement) would have made him an ideal blackmail target — and the Russian security apparatus plays a long game.
“All Americans, whatever their politics, should want to know, with certainty, whether a hostile power has our president and those close to him in thrall. This isn’t about party but about our security at the most profound level. Every so often, I could work in a comment on the air, but even the best-disposed hosts were wary of transgressing the party line.”
Peters was angered that “The cascade of revelations about the Russia-related crimes of Trump associates was dismissed, adamantly, as ‘fake news’ by (Fox) prime-time hosts who themselves generate fake news blithely.”
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