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Old 10-07-2019, 11:44 AM
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Is Trump an Asset of Russia (Or Some Other Foreign Power)?


According to some, the implication/assertion goes that Trump has done plenty of grievous things in his life and that evidence of these things has fallen into the hands of Vladimir Putin*, and further that Putin is using these things to blackmail the president. In another thread in Elections, it was suggested that I "do my own homework" after making an off-hand comment that "Trump isn't being controlled by foreign powers, I don't think". The reason I did not go off and do that in depth was, I've been following politics fairly closely for decades, and certainly during the Trump years, and I haven't seen anything that would make me think that Trump is most likely being blackmailed. I've have done Google searches, currently watch all the cable news shows, including FOX, and haven't found anything particularly convincing there. This is not to say that I discount the possiblity that Trump is in fact acting at the behest of Putin. Certainly it's possible, and I am open to the idea.

In the other thread, someone made the rather ridiculuous assertion that I would need a video of Trump fellating Putin, or a personal letter from the Russian before I would be satisfied. I alluded to the possiblity that it will most likely be very difficult to find "high-quality" evidence of blackmail, some sort of direct connection, but this is not on me. One cannot reduce the standard of proof in this instance, just to make it easier to "prove" something. Since it will be difficult, it's very likely this thread will die a quick death. But here goes:

I would start off the debate with a few questions as suggestions only. Feel free to start wherever you like.

1. What "goods" does Putin have on Trump?
2. What evidence is there that he has communicated to Trump blackmail demands, and what are they?
3. What has Trump done that suggests he is being blackmailed, that is, something he would not have done unless that is in fact the case.

*Putin is the one I see usually being accused of being a potential blackmailer. Feel free to talk about others as you see fit.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:58 AM
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Trump is not an asset. He is a liability.

I love the narrative of a hugely competent KGB operation running Trump as an asset. However historical evidence shows that (human) intelligence operations are much more haphazard. It would be the single most successful operation in history. So Occam suggests otherwise.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:01 PM
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You "haven't found anything particularly convincing there" because there is not anything particularly convincing there. It's been a stupid conspiracy theory from the beginning, and it's still a stupid conspiracy theory. The people who believe it are delusional.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The Librarian View Post
Trump is not an asset. He is a liability.

I love the narrative of a hugely competent KGB operation running Trump as an asset. However historical evidence shows that (human) intelligence operations are much more haphazard. It would be the single most successful operation in history. So Occam suggests otherwise.
Funny you should mention Occam. The assertion was made in that other thread that Occam supports the blackmail theory, without elaborating. I said I could very well say the opposite, but also didn't elaborate. Seems to me that if you add in even a small number of assumptions to account for Putin being involved, I would be right. But anyway, I'd prefer we not get hijacked right from the start...
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
You "haven't found anything particularly convincing there" because there is not anything particularly convincing there. It's been a stupid conspiracy theory from the beginning, and it's still a stupid conspiracy theory. The people who believe it are delusional.
No comment, as this adds nothing to the discussion.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 10-07-2019 at 12:06 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Is Trump an Asset of Russia (Or some other foreign power )?
Yes.

I don't know if Putin has any material on Trump but there's a lot of evidence about their connections nonetheless.

https://themoscowproject.org/collusi...ter/chapter-1/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busine...rump_in_Russia


Trump Tower has or had a server connected to Russia:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...th_russia.html

Trump is selling Florida property to Russian Oligarchs:

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-sold-...ocratic-802613

Last year, Trump literally said that he trusts Putin over US intelligence agencies. And don't forget his son bragged on Twitter about his "Russian meeting." It confounds me that anyone would dismiss this as "Fake News."

Last edited by Intergalactic Gladiator; 10-07-2019 at 12:11 PM. Reason: fixed quote bracket
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:14 PM
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I don't think that Trump is not an asset in the sense of "recruited to do the bidding of Russia"

I think he's more of an asset in the sense of "let's try to get this moron elected because then he'll do a huge amount of damage because he's an idiot"

I mean, turning on your allies the Kurds, and basically letting Syria go to hell and helping ISIS? I don't think that Russia ordered Trump to do this. I think Trump did this because he's a complete and total fool.

ETA: Or, he did it because he has been promised something in return. By Turkey.

Last edited by Euphonious Polemic; 10-07-2019 at 12:15 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
I would start off the debate with a few questions as suggestions only. Feel free to start wherever you like.

1. What "goods" does Putin have on Trump?
2. What evidence is there that he has communicated to Trump blackmail demands, and what are they?
3. What has Trump done that suggests he is being blackmailed, that is, something he would not have done unless that is in fact the case.
OK.

1. Nothing.
2. None.
3. Nothing.

Putin tried to fuck with the 2016 elections, in order to reduce confidence in the US about the election itself and its outcome. Apparently it worked to some degree.

You do know that the Steele dossier was fake, don't you?

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:37 PM
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Eeverything I write in this post is my best guess. No cites, no evidence, just what I guess to be likely.

First:
(a) It is well-known that Trump has benefited from loans and business deals with Russia, and with kleptocrats allied with the Putin-led Russian mob.
(b) The way that Trump cuddles with Putin, e.g. declaring him innocent when security advisers unanimously find him culpable, is striking.
(c) Deviations from Russian policy do NOT imply that Trump is not beholden to Putin. And some deviations will help Putin anyway. Do you think Putin is unhappy with Trump's antagonism against Putin's quasi-ally, Iran? You don't need to study 3-D chess to realize that this enmity is a big boon for Russia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
1. What "goods" does Putin have on Trump?
2. What evidence is there that he has communicated to Trump blackmail demands, and what are they?
3. What has Trump done that suggests he is being blackmailed, that is, something he would not have done unless that is in fact the case.
1. The extent of financial involvement is likely quite embarrassing. Furthermore, recall that Trump spent the night at a Russian hotel and then vehemently denied that fact. The following are treated by experts as matters of fact;
(a) The suite where Trump stayed would have been bugged and captured on video.
(b) Trump and Putin joked about how talented Russian whores were.
(c) Trump, by his nature, might not have refused admission to lovely Russian ladies come calling.
No evidence (although I think the Steele dossier has specific allegations). No proof. But if there was no impropriety, why did Trump lie about leaving town before nightfall?

2. The idea that secret radio messages need to be passed for Trump to get requests from Putin is absurd. Recall that the Trump Organization had a direct private link to a Russian computer. Recall that no explicit quid pro quos needed to be enunciated, for example, in the phone call to Ukraine. Recall that Trump and Putin have had private face time including one session where only Putin's translator was present -- No American translator was present.

3. Is this a joke? Trump has repeatedly sold out our allies and America's interests to carry water for Putin.

Last edited by septimus; 10-07-2019 at 12:40 PM.
  #10  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:39 PM
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Using the old KGB terminology, he is a "useful idiot".
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"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge."
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
OK.

1. Nothing.
2. None.
3. Nothing.

Putin tried to fuck with the 2016 elections, in order to reduce confidence in the US about the election itself and its outcome. Apparently it worked to some degree.
Fair enough.

Quote:
You do know that the Steele dossier was fake, don't you?
Why do you ask this of me? I created an honest attempt at a discussion. It really annoys me when people make these implied assumptions..

Regards,
Shodan[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
I think he's more of an asset in the sense of "let's try to get this moron elected because then he'll do a huge amount of damage because he's an idiot"
This is generally my position, but I'll see how it goes as I read what other have to say.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
Yes.

I don't know if Putin has any material on Trump but there's a lot of evidence about their connections nonetheless.

https://themoscowproject.org/collusi...ter/chapter-1/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busine...rump_in_Russia


Trump Tower has or had a server connected to Russia:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...th_russia.html

Trump is selling Florida property to Russian Oligarchs:

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-sold-...ocratic-802613

Last year, Trump literally said that he trusts Putin over US intelligence agencies. And don't forget his son bragged on Twitter about his "Russian meeting." It confounds me that anyone would dismiss this as "Fake News."

I say we trade the Russians Trump for Snowden and we make him Anti-Corporate state Surveillance Czar, in honor of our close ties with Russia of course.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:47 PM
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You do know that the Steele dossier was fake, don't you?
Even though everything in it has checked out?

Better change the channel.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
Yes.

I don't know if Putin has any material on Trump but there's a lot of evidence about their connections nonetheless.

https://themoscowproject.org/collusi...ter/chapter-1/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busine...rump_in_Russia


Trump Tower has or had a server connected to Russia:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...th_russia.html

Trump is selling Florida property to Russian Oligarchs:

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-sold-...ocratic-802613

Last year, Trump literally said that he trusts Putin over US intelligence agencies. And don't forget his son bragged on Twitter about his "Russian meeting." It confounds me that anyone would dismiss this as "Fake News."
Thanks for the links. I had read the first one already, and have had time to look at the Wiki link so far. I don't see in them evidence of Putin having anything on Trump either. Certainly Trump has had/has Russian "connections" though.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Why do you ask this of me? I created an honest attempt at a discussion. It really annoys me when people make these implied assumptions.
Because the stuff about peeing Russian hookers and so forth got started, or at least publicized from that.

No offense, but read ElvisL1ves' post. Some people still believe in it.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:14 PM
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Putin doesn't actually have to have blackmail material on Trump to make him behave the way he does. Trump's entire history as a shady businessman and narcissist explains why it's more important to him to support Putin's agenda rather than the good of the country he has been elected to lead. Trump has enormous business interests in Russia, Putin flatters his ego, and Trump has a history of dealing with shady characters, including Russian ones. All that provides sufficient information. Maybe Putin does have blackmail material on him, but even absent that, I think Trump would still be behaving the same way.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
First:
(a) It is well-known that Trump has benefited from loans and business deals with Russia, and with kleptocrats allied with the Putin-led Russian mob.
(b) The way that Trump cuddles with Putin, e.g. declaring him innocent when security advisers unanimously find him culpable, is striking.
(c) Deviations from Russian policy do NOT imply that Trump is not beholden to Putin. And some deviations will help Putin anyway. Do you think Putin is unhappy with Trump's antagonism against Putin's quasi-ally, Iran? You don't need to study 3-D chess to realize that this enmity is a big boon for Russia.
(a) Okay. Wouldn't mind a link to support this, but let's say he has benefited. What does this have to do with the OP? Serious question, btw.
(b) If something is indeed going on between Trump and Putin, wouldn't it make more sense that Trump would stand up to him in public? And the fact that he doesn't suggests there may be another reason? Say, Trump is simply a coward? He is terrified of a dictator like Putin and tries to pretend he is benign. Then he doesn't have to stand up to him.
(c) Okay, things have been boon to Russia. This in and of itself isn't proof of much on its own. ETA: I was asking for specific things, though, if you don't mind.

Quote:
1. The extent of financial involvement is likely quite embarrassing. Furthermore, recall that Trump spent the night at a Russian hotel and then vehemently denied that fact. The following are treated by experts as matters of fact;
(a) The suite where Trump stayed would have been bugged and captured on video.
(b) Trump and Putin joked about how talented Russian whores were.
(c) Trump, by his nature, might not have refused admission to lovely Russian ladies come calling.
No evidence (although I think the Steele dossier has specific allegations). No proof. But if there was no impropriety, why did Trump lie about leaving town before nightfall?
I cannot get into the mind of Trump. But as for the other things, if there was/is documented impropriety, you might have something.

Quote:
2. The idea that secret radio messages need to be passed for Trump to get requests from Putin is absurd. Recall that the Trump Organization had a direct private link to a Russian computer. Recall that no explicit quid pro quos needed to be enunciated, for example, in the phone call to Ukraine. Recall that Trump and Putin have had private face time including one session where only Putin's translator was present -- No American translator was present.
Okay, then make that argument to someone who has said secret radio messages need to be passed. But presumably there has to be some way for a communique to happen. Does the Trump Organization still have a direct private link? That could be a way. And since we've seen the Ukraine transcript, indeed maybe others will come out.

Quote:
3. Is this a joke? Trump has repeatedly sold out our allies and America's interests to carry water for Putin.
No, not a joke. And this is not an answer. Again, this is an honest attempt at a discussion. But if Trump has done things that sell out our allies, this could be just because he is a fool. For instance, the whole tariff debacle, where he actually sold out Americans more that allies. Trump doing dumb-ass things on his own can account for his actions. I don't see that Putin is needed.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 10-07-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:34 PM
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Asset (intelligence)

Quote:
● Willingly work for a foreign government for ideological reasons such as being against their government, but live in a country that doesn't allow political opposition. They may elect to work with a foreign power to change their own country because there are few other ways available.

● Work for monetary gain. Intelligence services often pay good wages to people in important positions that are willing to betray secrets.

● Have been blackmailed and are forced into their role.

● Do not even know they are being used (so called "useful idiots"). Assets can be loyal to their country, but may still provide a foreign agent with information through failures in information safety, such as using insecure computers or not following proper OPSEC procedures during day-to-day chatting.
There may be some doubt as to which of these bullet points Trump falls under, but there is zero doubt that at least one is an accurate description.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:37 PM
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Putin doesn't actually have to have blackmail material on Trump to make him behave the way he does. Trump's entire history as a shady businessman and narcissist explains why it's more important to him to support Putin's agenda rather than the good of the country he has been elected to lead. Trump has enormous business interests in Russia, Putin flatters his ego, and Trump has a history of dealing with shady characters, including Russian ones. All that provides sufficient information. Maybe Putin does have blackmail material on him, but even absent that, I think Trump would still be behaving the same way.
All of what you say may be the case. And since the OP is about Trump being a "bought and paid for" asset through blackmail, instead of just a useful idiot, it doesn't really apply in the thread, I don't think. But even so, just taking the "enormous business interests in Russia" angle, doesn't he have more interests in the US and elsewhere? Why jeopardize those, with the hope of making future deals in Russia?
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:38 PM
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You do know that the Steele dossier was fake, don't you?
This is a ridiculous assertion. The Steele Dossier is undeniably real. You can read the whole thing here.

What in the world could you possibly mean by 'fake' that would accurately describe the Steele dossier?
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:44 PM
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Asset (intelligence)


There may be some doubt as to which of these bullet points Trump falls under, but there is zero doubt that at least one is an accurate description.
I do not agree with this assertion, given their vagueness in how we would think they apply to Trump. Would need more info. But anyway, I've already stated that as of now, I don't think he's being blackmailed. Which do you think is the most likely?

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 10-07-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:45 PM
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This is a ridiculous assertion. The Steele Dossier is undeniably real. You can read the whole thing here.

What in the world could you possibly mean by 'fake' that would accurately describe the Steele dossier?
For a great many people, the word "fake" now means "something I disagree with".

It's the same thing with the word "socialism". This means "a policy I do not understand or do not like"
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:46 PM
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This is a ridiculous assertion. The Steele Dossier is undeniably real. You can read the whole thing here.

What in the world could you possibly mean by 'fake' that would accurately describe the Steele dossier?
Should make for interesting reading. I didn't know this was available. So, when I said in the OP that I've been following this shit, it's now obvious I've missed some things. Thanks for the link.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:52 PM
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We know the stuff about the peeing is false, because it came from the Steele dossier, which is all false. We know everything in the Steele dossier is false, because one of the things in it is false. The thing we know is false is the peeing thing, because it came from the Steele dossier.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:54 PM
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I do not agree with this assertion, given their vagueness in how we would think they apply to Trump. But anyway, I've already stated that as of now, I don't think he's being blackmailed. Which do you think is the most likely?
Trump's actions are consistent with each of the last three bullet points, and his actions are the important part here.

He is undeniably an asset to Putin because he is acting in ways that are useful and/or valuable Putin. It doesn't really matter if he is acting knowingly because he's being blackmailed or being unwittingly manipulated into taking these actions. The end result is the same. He's a Russian asset whether he knows it or not.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:11 PM
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It doesn't matter if Putin has something on Trump, Trump is acting as if he has been compromised, and that's what counts. The reason we don't want presidents to be compromised by foreign countries is because they will act the way Trump does. So it doesn't matter why he is acting that way, it is the same problem and results if he is acting on Putin's orders or just acting on his own stupid ideas.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:29 PM
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Reposting because I forgot to emphasize the following sentence.
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Recall that Trump and Putin have had private face time including one session where only Putin's translator was present -- No American translator was present.
"Proof" of treason? No.
Unprecedented and almost unimaginable dereliction of duty? An action hard to understand without a treasonous motive? Of course.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:31 PM
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Here's an example... 'Very aggressive': Trump suggests Montenegro could cause world war three

Shortly after a private meeting with Putin, Trump goes after Nato member Montenegro for some reason. He says they're a 'very aggressive' people who might start world war three. He suggests the US might not fulfill its article five obligations to come the Montenegro's defense.

Trump could probably not find Montenegro on an unlabeled map so its pretty clear this Montenegro business got into Trump's head directly from Putin in that closed door meeting. Now did Putin blackmail Trump into throwing Montenegro under the bus or did he manipulate into doing so without Trump realizing it? Does that matter?

Either way NATO is weakened because NATO membership has become less attractive. This is what Putin wants and why the Trumps comments were described as a “gift to Putin”.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Euphonious Polemic View Post
I don't think that Trump is not an asset in the sense of "recruited to do the bidding of Russia"

I think he's more of an asset in the sense of "let's try to get this moron elected because then he'll do a huge amount of damage because he's an idiot"

...
I think this is largely it.

The overwhelmingly proven effort by Russia to interfere in the US elections and Brexit is Putin's response to the West for what we ("we" in the Russian view) did to them in 1917 - identify people who can destabilize a country, assist them in achieving positions where they can destabilize them (Germany transported Lenin from Switzerland to the Finnish/USSR border, Putin assisted with GRU hacking, the IRA, and collusion with Manafort), and hope for the best.

IMHO, it all started from that impulse for revenge - getting revenge against the West for 1905, 1914, 1917, 1941, 1989, 1991. And Putin was there for the 1989 and 1991 collapses, so he has a personal stake in this as well.

Trump? He just happened to be there. If it wasn't him, it would be somebody else.

But I wouldn't call him an agent, just a patsy. A fall guy.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-07-2019 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:41 PM
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I don't think Trump is an "asset" of foreign nations in any sense that these nations actually have command authority over him and can order him what to do. Rather, I think Trump thinks they are his assets, in the sense that he can use them (i.e., ask Ukraine to do this or that favor for him.)
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:42 PM
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Reposting because I forgot to emphasize the following sentence.

"Proof" of treason? No.
Unprecedented and almost unimaginable dereliction of duty? An action hard to understand without a treasonous motive? Of course.
When Obama whispered to Medvedev "After my election, I have more flexibility", did you consider this "an action hard to understand without a treasonous motive"? Was it "unprecedented" or a "dereliction of duty"? Should he have had an American translator present to translate his whispers? Was it wrong of him to communicate directly with the Russian leader?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
He is undeniably an asset to Putin because he is acting in ways that are useful and/or valuable Putin. It doesn't really matter if he is acting knowingly because he's being blackmailed or being unwittingly manipulated into taking these actions. The end result is the same. He's a Russian asset whether he knows it or not.
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
It doesn't matter if Putin has something on Trump, Trump is acting as if he has been compromised, and that's what counts. The reason we don't want presidents to be compromised by foreign countries is because they will act the way Trump does. So it doesn't matter why he is acting that way, it is the same problem and results if he is acting on Putin's orders or just acting on his own stupid ideas.
Agreed, except to say that it does matter why. If it's because he's a moron only, maybe he can be talked out these things. If Putin is blackmailing him, or paying him as one of Lance's bullet points alluded to, it may he more difficult. But again, the above two quotes are undeniably true.

Here is a fortuitous event, for the purposes of the thread, that is. Trump says US forces are moving aside in northern Syria. This could benefit Putin, as Russia backs Syria. So, is Trump doing this because he's being blackmailed? Or for his own good reason? Or for his own bad reason?

Quote:
"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," a statement said. "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area."
It's good when you defeat an enemy. Maybe Trump is pulling out because he wants to publicize the idea that we have defeated ISIS. Whether this is a good idea is not the question. I think it's plausible that this is the case. I would also say that it's plausible that he is doing because he is a useful idiot, and even plausible, but to me extremely unlikely because he is literally being blackmailed. IOW, I do not immediately say "a ha!", there's all the evidence you need that he is not acting only on his ideas and his advisers', but because he wants to help Russia for some reason.
  #34  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:53 PM
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Agreed, except to say that it does matter why.
It doesn't matter why if you're trying to to answer the question in your thread's title.

Q: Is Trump an Asset of Russia (Or Some Other Foreign Power)?

A: Yes, because he is doing things that are valuable and/or useful to Russia.

That's just what asset means and why doesn't really come into it.
  #35  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:56 PM
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Trump could probably not find Montenegro on an unlabeled map so its pretty clear this Montenegro business got into Trump's head directly from Putin in that closed door meeting. Now did Putin blackmail Trump into throwing Montenegro under the bus or did he manipulate into doing so without Trump realizing it? Does that matter?

Either way NATO is weakened because NATO membership has become less attractive. This is what Putin wants and why the Trumps comments were described as a “gift to Putin”.
Or maybe what was mentioned in your link is the reason:

Quote:
In an interview with Fox News, Trump also called into question Nato’s founding principle. He was asked about Article 5, Nato’s common defence clause which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

“Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” Fox host Tucker Carlson asked.

Trump responded: “I understand what you’re saying. I’ve asked the same question.”

“Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people ... They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in world war three,” the US president added.
Perhaps Trump just doesn't get the idea of mutual defense as practiced by NATO. This decision came a few days after his Putin meeting, certainly enough time for him to do this for his own reasons. So I would not characterize it as Putin unequivocally causing Trump to do what he did. But I would characterize it as suggestive of this. But as you say, why is not the issue in the end. It's that Trump acts in ways not beneficial to the U.S.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:59 PM
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It doesn't matter why if you're trying to to answer the question in your thread's title.

Q: Is Trump an Asset of Russia (Or Some Other Foreign Power)?

A: Yes, because he is doing things that are valuable and/or useful to Russia.

That's just what asset means and why doesn't really come into it.
Oh, sure. I just meant as a general idea. If a president is doing stupid things, the one easiest to correct is the better of two evils.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:44 PM
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... It's that Trump acts in ways not beneficial to the U.S.
Reining in mouthy allies that are figuratively writing checks they expect the U.S. to cash is beneficial to the U.S. These sort of mutual defense treaties with dramatically-weaker countries who are facing off against significant global powers almost always involve some degree of triangulation. We don't want the insignificant country to feel so emboldened that they drag us into a nuclear exchange with China or Russia, but we also don't want China or Russia feeling free to run roughshod over their weaker neighbors. It's a bit of a balancing act, and has been for many decades before President Trump ever came on the scene.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-07-2019 at 03:45 PM.
  #38  
Old 10-07-2019, 04:26 PM
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It's a bit of a balancing act, and has been for many decades before President Trump ever came on the scene.
Not really. I'm pretty sure this hasn't come up before.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:55 PM
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Reining in mouthy allies that are figuratively writing checks they expect the U.S. to cash is beneficial to the U.S.
Right on man. What have those Kurds ever done for us anyway? To hell with them. I'm sure nothing bad can happen as a result of this.
  #40  
Old 10-07-2019, 04:58 PM
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The Trump Administration is considering pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to monitor Russian military deployments. The House Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the head of the NSC today protesting this move:

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_ca...eaty-final.pdf

I still guess we need to see that signed agreement, eh, Fiddle Peghead?
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:10 PM
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Right on man. What have those Kurds ever done for us anyway? To hell with them. I'm sure nothing bad can happen as a result of this.
Don't forget the mouthy Montenegrans. Aggressive bunch.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:22 PM
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The Trump Administration is considering pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to monitor Russian military deployments. The House Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the head of the NSC today protesting this move:

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_ca...eaty-final.pdf

I still guess we need to see that signed agreement, eh, Fiddle Peghead?
Putin certainly has had a productive 24 hours. Perhaps he suspects that his "useful idiot", while remaining an idiot, will no longer be useful...
  #43  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:34 PM
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Well, in Trump's defense, this article states that the reason that Trump threw the Kurds under the bus was not necessarily at the behest of the Russians, but rather because " the president has no spine and that's the bottom line."

The reason for Trump's idiotic move? ""President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something"

So he's not an asset of Russia. He is just a spineless moron who was out-negotiated. So that's good then.
  #44  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:37 PM
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So he's not an asset of Russia. He is just a spineless moron who was out-negotiated.
"Can't he be both, like the late Earl Warren?"
  #45  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:42 PM
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Putin certainly has had a productive 24 hours. Perhaps he suspects that his "useful idiot", while remaining an idiot, will no longer be useful...
It's Putin's birthday, after all.

~Max
  #46  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:46 PM
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It doesn't matter why if you're trying to to answer the question in your thread's title.

Q: Is Trump an Asset of Russia (Or Some Other Foreign Power)?

A: Yes, because he is doing things that are valuable and/or useful to Russia.

That's just what asset means and why doesn't really come into it.
I'm with this. I have no idea whether Russia has some tangible advantage or compromising materiel over Mr. Trump. It could plausibly be true - or not. I haven't personally been made aware of evidence demonstrating any advantage Russia has over the President, so I assume the President just has a few misplaced priorities which happen to coincide with Russian interests. In my opinion, it's the simplest explanation.

~Max
  #47  
Old 10-07-2019, 06:59 PM
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Trump is an emotionally fragile narcissist.

He is an 'asset' of anyone who offers him flattery, money, power or threatens him with shame.

World leaders have figured this out and manipulate him into putting their national interests ahead of Americas. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia, North Korea, etc. etc. etc.
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  #48  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:22 PM
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We already know Putin has a huge leverage on Trump: he could confirm that Russia helped Trump win the election. While this isn't exactly a secret, Putin openly confirming it would still damage Trump's support.
  #49  
Old 10-07-2019, 08:16 PM
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So he's not an asset of Russia. He is just a spineless moron who was out-negotiated. So that's good then.
It's true that foreign policy is a complex beast and sometimes it leads to outcomes that look absurd.

It's also true that Trump is a self-serving ignorant buffoon who may be pursuing his own idiotic style of diplomacy at nobody's behest.

It's also true that Trump behaves in a manner that is sycophantic toward countries he's done business with in the past, and he's going to extraordinary lengths to cover those tracks.

Circumstantial evidence is admissible. If you drive past a scene of one car rammed into the back of another car, with steam hissing out of the radiator, you check the scene for skid marks and whiskey bottles and eyewitnesses. You arrest anyone who leaves the scene or tries to conceal the fact.

Team Trump is trying awfully, awfully hard to conceal "circumstantial" evidence as opposed to vigorously trying to clear his name by getting the facts out.
  #50  
Old 10-07-2019, 08:40 PM
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Team Trump is trying awfully, awfully hard to conceal "circumstantial" evidence as opposed to vigorously trying to clear his name by getting the facts out.
Team Trump is currently a fucking clown car.

When the best they can do is to say "Ha ha, those insane tweets from the whitehouse? Ummmmm... a Joke! Ya, that's the ticket, it was a funny joke"

Trump has lost the thread at this point. He honestly thinks he has "great and unmatched wisdom". He has gone completely deleusional.

The Republicans in Congress have to mnow make a decision; Do they stick with a dictator who has completely lost the thread? Someone who may toss them under the bus at anytime?

The Democrats have given them an out. They can get rid of Trump within the next month. He can be gone by the end of October. Boom.
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