White House chief ethics counsel under George W. Bush and political commentator Richard Painter believes there is a “substantial” chance that Russian President Vladimir Putin is blackmailing President Donald Trump, according to a recent interview with Salon’s Chauncey Vega.
Discussing Trump’s apparent proclivity for making decisions that benefit Russia — and could cause detriment to the United States — Painter said “there is a substantial chance that Trump owes the Russians money or that they provided him with money in some other ways”.
He added: “There is also a substantial chance that the Russians have the goods on him. It could be evidence of criminal activity, perhaps sexual blackmail or even something worse.”
This is how the Russians operate, Painter said: “they get the goods on people and then they can get you to do what they want.”
“This is how someone like Donald Trump could be turned into a Russian asset. The information the Russians have on Donald Trump could at the minimum be embarrassing and at the maximum criminal.”