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What Happened in Moscow: The Inside Story of How Trump's Obsession With Putin Began

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By David Corn and Michael Isikoff, Mother Jones

09 March 18


His 2013 visit paved the way for a scandal that shook the world.

This is the first of two excerpts adapted from Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump (Twelve Books), by Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, and David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones. The book will be released on March 13.


"It was late in the afternoon of November 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious.

This was his second day in the Russian capital, and the brash businessman and reality TV star was running through a whirlwind schedule to promote that evening’s extravaganza at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall: the Miss Universe pageant, in which women from 86 countries would be judged before a worldwide television audience estimated at 1 billion.

Trump had purchased the pageant 17 years earlier, partnering with NBC. It was one of his most prized properties, bringing in millions of dollars a year in revenue and, perhaps as important, burnishing his image as an iconic international playboy celebrity. While in the Russian capital, Trump was also scouting for new and grand business opportunities, having spent decades trying—but failing—to develop high-end projects in Moscow. Miss Universe staffers considered it an open secret that Trump’s true agenda in Moscow was not the show but his desire to do business there.

Yet to those around him that afternoon, Trump seemed gripped by one question: Where was Vladimir Putin?

From the moment five months earlier when Trump announced Miss Universe would be staged that year in Moscow, he had seemed obsessed with the idea of meeting the Russian president. “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow—if so, will he become my new best friend?” Trump had tweeted in June.

Once in Moscow, Trump received a private message from the Kremlin, delivered by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch close to Putin and Trump’s partner in hosting the Miss Universe event there: “Mr. Putin would like to meet Mr. Trump.” That excited Trump. The American developer thought there was a strong chance the Russian leader would attend the pageant. But as his time in Russia wore on, Trump heard nothing else. He became uneasy.

“Is Putin coming?” he kept asking.

With no word from the Kremlin, it was starting to look grim. Then Agalarov conveyed a new message. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s right-hand man and press spokesman, would be calling any moment. Trump was relieved, especially after it was explained to him that few people were closer to Putin than Peskov. If anybody could facilitate a rendezvous with Putin, it was Peskov. “If you get a call from Peskov, it’s like you’re getting a call from Putin,” Rob Goldstone, a British-born publicist who had helped bring the beauty contest to Moscow, told him. But time was running out. The show would be starting soon, and following the broadcast Trump would be departing the city.

Finally, Agalarov’s cellphone rang. It was Peskov, and Agalarov handed the phone to an eager Trump.

Trump’s trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe contest was a pivotal moment. He had for years longed to develop a glittering Trump Tower in Moscow. With this visit, he would come near—so near—to striking that deal. He would be close to branding the Moscow skyline with his world-famous name and enhancing his own status as a sort of global oligarch.

During his time in Russia, Trump would demonstrate his affinity for the nation’s authoritarian leader with flattering and fawning tweets and remarks that were part of a long stretch of comments suggesting an admiration for Putin. Trump’s curious statements about Putin—before, during, and after this Moscow jaunt—would later confound US intelligence officials, members of Congress, and Americans of various political inclinations, even Republican Party loyalists.

What could possibly explain Trump’s unwavering sympathy for the Russian strongman? His refusal to acknowledge Putin’s repressive tactics, his whitewashing of Putin’s abuses in Ukraine and Syria, his dismissal of the murders of Putin’s critics, his blind eye to Putin’s cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at subverting Western democracies?

Trump’s brief trip to Moscow held clues to this mystery. His two days there would later become much discussed because of allegations that he engaged in weird sexual antics while in Russia—claims that were not confirmed. But this visit was significant because it revealed what motivated Trump the most: the opportunity to build more monuments to himself and to make more money. Trump realized he could attain none of his dreams in Moscow without forging a bond with the former KGB lieutenant colonel who was the president of Russia..."


https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/48864-what-happened-in-moscow-the-inside-story-of-how-trumps-obsession-with-putin-began

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For all his money, Donald Trump is one of the most insecure people on the planet. He's a soft marshmallow who dreams of being a tough guy, which is why he's always posturing like he's Tony Soprano or something. He's obsessed with being accepted by guys he thinks are strong and powerful. And he views Putin as really strong and tough.

Trump is like Chester in this cartoon, and Putin is Spike.



Trump's been doing that "You 'n' me is pals, ain't we, Vladimir?" thing for years now, begging for Putin's attention, sucking up every crumb of approval Putin tosses him. Putin is an old KGB guy -- he knows how to exploit an enemy's weakness, and Trump's weakness is obvious to anybody -- his vanity and need for approval. If you flatter him a little he'll let you do anything. He's anybody's doormat.

And Putin especially has him all tied up. I don't know for sure if Russians have kompromat on Trump or not. Given Trump's nasty mind and low impulse control, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the pee tape was real... but, really, I don't think it even matters, because Trump is a smitten schoolgirl and Putin is the big quarterback he has a crush on, and he won't refuse Putin anything, because he's in love and wants so badly to be loved back. Trump won't stand up to Vladimir any more than a star-struck 14-year-old girl would tell Justin Bieber to get lost. Not-being-liked by someone he sees as strong and powerful is something Trump just cannot stand. A lot of that is part of the daddy-damage that his ruled Trump's entire life. His dad never really loved or approved of him, but he always chased after it. And, in Putin, he sees another daddy symbol, another chance to finally have somebody "tough" accept him.

He'll sell out the United States in a minute for it, because none of us are anywhere near as important to him as his own needs. Putin knows he has a doormat in the White House, so damn if he's not gonna wipe his feet on it at every opportunity.

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zsomething wrote:For all his money, Donald Trump is one of the most insecure people on the planet.  He's a soft marshmallow who dreams of being a tough guy, which is why he's always posturing like he's Tony Soprano or something.  He's obsessed with being accepted by guys he thinks are strong and powerful.  And he views Putin as really strong and tough.

Trump's been doing that "You 'n' me is pals, ain't we, Vladimir?" thing for years now, begging for Putin's attention, sucking up every crumb of approval Putin tosses him.  Putin is an old KGB guy -- he knows how to exploit an enemy's weakness, and Trump's weakness is obvious to anybody -- his vanity and need for approval.   If you flatter him a little he'll let you do anything.   He's anybody's doormat.  

And Putin especially has him all tied up.   I don't know for sure if Russians have kompromat on Trump or not.  Given Trump's nasty mind and low impulse control, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the pee tape was real... but, really, I don't think it even matters, because Trump is a smitten schoolgirl and Putin is the big quarterback he has a crush on, and he won't refuse Putin anything, because he's in love and wants so badly to be loved back.  Trump won't stand up to Vladimir any more than a star-struck 14-year-old girl would tell Justin Bieber to get lost.   Not-being-liked by someone he sees as strong and powerful is something Trump just cannot stand.   A lot of that is part of the daddy-damage that his ruled Trump's entire life.  His dad never really loved or approved of him, but he always chased after it.  And, in Putin, he sees another daddy symbol, another chance to finally have somebody "tough" accept him.

He'll sell out the United States in a minute for it, because none of us are anywhere near as important to him as his own needs.   Putin knows he has a doormat in the White House, so damn if he's not gonna wipe his feet on it at every opportunity.

While I agree with this assessment of Trump's deeply flawed character, I can't help but think there's also a threat to his financial survival--a stick to go with the carrot of approval from Putin.

“The allegation that concerns me most is...the issue of money laundering, and not money laundering alone by Mr. Manafort but whether the Russians also laundered money through the Trump Organization,” Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Atlantic in October. “I mention that because when most people think of kompromat [‘compromising material’ in Russian], they think of the salacious video. But if the Russians were laundering money... that would be a very powerful lever the Russians would have over the president of the United States.”

Trump has insisted that he has “...nothing to do with Russia—no deals, no loans, no nothing,” as he wrote on Twitter. But last May, golf writer James Dodson said that during a 2014 interview, Trump’s son Eric boasted that his father’s company had access to Russian money. “We don’t rely on American banks,” Dodson said Trump told him. “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” (Eric Trump later denied he made this claim.) Likewise, in 2008, Donald Trump Jr. told a real estate conference that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” and later added, “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”


http://www.newsweek.com/what-putin-may-really-have-trump-793208

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Deus X wrote:
zsomething wrote:For all his money, Donald Trump is one of the most insecure people on the planet.  He's a soft marshmallow who dreams of being a tough guy, which is why he's always posturing like he's Tony Soprano or something.  He's obsessed with being accepted by guys he thinks are strong and powerful.  And he views Putin as really strong and tough.

Trump's been doing that "You 'n' me is pals, ain't we, Vladimir?" thing for years now, begging for Putin's attention, sucking up every crumb of approval Putin tosses him.  Putin is an old KGB guy -- he knows how to exploit an enemy's weakness, and Trump's weakness is obvious to anybody -- his vanity and need for approval.   If you flatter him a little he'll let you do anything.   He's anybody's doormat.  

And Putin especially has him all tied up.   I don't know for sure if Russians have kompromat on Trump or not.  Given Trump's nasty mind and low impulse control, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the pee tape was real... but, really, I don't think it even matters, because Trump is a smitten schoolgirl and Putin is the big quarterback he has a crush on, and he won't refuse Putin anything, because he's in love and wants so badly to be loved back.  Trump won't stand up to Vladimir any more than a star-struck 14-year-old girl would tell Justin Bieber to get lost.   Not-being-liked by someone he sees as strong and powerful is something Trump just cannot stand.   A lot of that is part of the daddy-damage that his ruled Trump's entire life.  His dad never really loved or approved of him, but he always chased after it.  And, in Putin, he sees another daddy symbol, another chance to finally have somebody "tough" accept him.

He'll sell out the United States in a minute for it, because none of us are anywhere near as important to him as his own needs.   Putin knows he has a doormat in the White House, so damn if he's not gonna wipe his feet on it at every opportunity.

While I agree with this assessment of Trump's deeply flawed character, I can't help but think there's also a threat to his financial survival--a stick to go with the carrot of approval from Putin.

“The allegation that concerns me most is...the issue of money laundering, and not money laundering alone by Mr. Manafort but whether the Russians also laundered money through the Trump Organization,” Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Atlantic in October. “I mention that because when most people think of kompromat [‘compromising material’ in Russian], they think of the salacious video. But if the Russians were laundering money... that would be a very powerful lever the Russians would have over the president of the United States.”

Trump has insisted that he has “...nothing to do with Russia—no deals, no loans, no nothing,” as he wrote on Twitter. But last May, golf writer James Dodson said that during a 2014 interview, Trump’s son Eric boasted that his father’s company had access to Russian money. “We don’t rely on American banks,” Dodson said Trump told him. “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” (Eric Trump later denied he made this claim.) Likewise, in 2008, Donald Trump Jr. told a real estate conference that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” and later added, “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”


http://www.newsweek.com/what-putin-may-really-have-trump-793208

http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/

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