The ‘Manchurian Candidate’: Trump’s Presidency Is An Extension Of Putin’s

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain

Sarah Shaiman

The president has continuously changed his story as to how much he was briefed about the Russian bounty.

In January, the White House was informed of intelligence regarding Russia paying the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan; however, President Trump has had five phone calls with President Putin since with no plans of retaliation, according to the Intelligencer's Jonathan Chait.

  • As Trump claims to hold American troops as a priority, the White House has simultaneously not pursued answers for the violence perpetrated against them in Afghanistan.
  • It is clear that Trump and Putin have a working relationship, as Russian oligarchs went through great pains to dubiously investigate Joe Biden earlier in Trump’s term, Chait noted.
  • Trump claimed in a Tweet that he was never briefed about the attacks on American troops.

  • After, Trump called the entire Russia operation a hoax.

  • However, the attacks were confirmed by European intelligence sources. The White House is moving in the direction of claiming that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were never briefed about the attacks.
  • In addition, Trump has been known not to read his briefs.

The Washington Post reported three years ago that the officials who deliver Trump’s intelligence summaries have learned to dance carefully around anything that casts a dark light on Putin. “Russia-related intelligence that might draw Trump’s ire is in some cases included only in the written assessment and not raised orally,” it found, noting that briefers have learned that Russian-related intelligence tends to send the briefing “off the rails.”

And so the Russian bounty might well have been included in Trump’s official briefings, which everybody knows he doesn’t read. And the officials around him may well have decided not to mention the matter to him because experience has taught them not to broach the topic of Russian misconduct with the boss.

  • Chait noted that "Years of courting and flattery seem to have convinced Trump to see Russia’s side of a wide array of issues, from NATO to G7 membership to the alleged threat to Russia posed by countries like Montenegro and Afghanistan."

Whatever the case may be, it is becoming increasingly clear that Trump consistently refuses to stand up to Putin.

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