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Cole writes: "What John Brennan is really saying is that there is actually only one possible explanation for Trump's creepy and peculiar relationship to Putin. Kompromat."

Trump is deeply worried about Putin's feelings. And he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own security officials. (photo: Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast)
Trump is deeply worried about Putin's feelings. And he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own security officials. (photo: Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast)

Former CIA Director: Trump Is Afraid of Putin Kompromat

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

13 November 17


wo former intelligence officials on Sunday more or less said openly that Trump is compromised by Russia.

Jake Tapper asked former CIA head John Brennan about Trump’s statement on Friday that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin when he said that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, and dissed intelligence and law enforcement professionals such as James Comey and James Clapper as “hacks.”

“JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I think Mr. Trump knows that the intelligence agencies, specifically CIA, NSA and FBI, the ones that really have responsibility for counterintelligence and looking at what Russia does, it’s very clear that the Russians interfered in the election.
And it’s still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it, and also push back hard against Mr. Putin.
The Russian threat to our democracy and our democratic foundations is real. And I think his continuing to not say very clearly and strongly that this is a national security problem, and to say to Mr. Putin, we know you did it, you would have to stop it, because there are going to be consequences if you don’t.”

Then Tapper asked further about Trump’s amazing deference to Putin (since Trump defers to no one else), noting that Trump spoke of Putin as insulted by the allegation that he put his thumb on the till of the US election.

BRENNAN: Well, I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump’s interest in being flattered.
And, also, I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations.
So, it’s very worrisome. And I think it sends a worrisome, very disturbing signal to our allies and partners who are concerned about Russian interference in their democratic processes as well.
So, it’s either naivete, ignorance or fear, in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-a-vis the Russians.

Let us parse Brennan’s reply. He begins by saying that Trump is easily manipulated through stroking of his ego.

I’d just like to point out that you would never, ever want a president who is easily manipulated by foreign leaders.

But then Brennan went further. A second possibility is that Trump is intimidated by Putin.

That diction would suggest that Trump is a coward and lowers his eyes in acquiescence when Putin stares at him with that cold blue KGB gaze.

I’d just like to point out that you would never, ever want a president who
can be easily cowed.

And then Brennan did it. He actually came out with it. The third possibility is that Trump is afraid of what Putin might do if the investigation continues, or what might come out as a result of it.

The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency openly alleged the real possibility that the sitting president of the United States is being successfully blackmailed and that policy is being made as a result of Trump’s fear of exposure.

Brennan was clear that he has no proof that Trump is compromised.

But Brennan would not make this allegation unless he had at least circumstantial evidence of “kompromat” or compromising materials in the hands of Putin, of the release of which Trump is deeply afraid.

I’d just like to point out that you would never, ever want a president who is being actively blackmailed by a foreign power.

Trump clearly acts out of character when it comes to Putin. He does not care what his chief of staff John Kelly feels, when Trump goes off on him and vehemently dresses him down. He does not care about the feelings of NATO allies when he lambastes them as freeloaders and fools taking in too many refugees. He does not care about Japanese feelings when he accuses them of cowardice, at a moment when the US needs Tokyo in its dispute with North Korea.

Trump is, however, deeply worried about Putin’s feelings. And he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own security officials.

Brennan is telling us, as a career spy, that he sees behavior that can only be explained by Kompromat.

You see, Brennan gave three possibilities, that Trump is easily manipulated by flattery, or easily cowed, or compromised. The first is true but can’t account for the obsequiousness of Trump’s behavior toward Putin. The second is not true–Trump is like an enraged bull rampaging around an arena trying to gore everyone in sight. His typical response to attempts to make him back down is to explode.

So what Brennan is really saying is that there is actually only one possible explanation for Trump’s creepy and peculiar relationship to Putin.

Kompromat. your social media marketing partner


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It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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+31 # DongiC 2017-11-13 13:14
Nice, Trump is doing his part to make Russia great again. (MRGA) How long do we have to put up with this hypocritical and possibly traitorus chief executive? And, what of his base in America which more and more is coming to represent a virus dangerous to all our welfare?
-47 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-11-13 13:27
Aaarrrg!! There is just some much wrong with this.

1. "you would never, ever want a president who is easily manipulated by foreign leaders." The Brits, Israelis, and Saudis have been manipulating, "playing," US leaders for a long time. Lots of Americans want it this way.

2. "specifically CIA, NSA and FBI, the ones that really have responsibility for counterintellig ence and looking at what Russia does," This is essentially a political and defense role. What is the FBI doing in this list? The NSA is merely a data collection organ.

3. "The Russian threat to our democracy and our democratic foundations is real. " So says a world class liar. In reality, Russia is no threat to democracy or foundations -- the CIA is the real threat.

4. "intelligence officials on Sunday more or less said openly that Trump is compromised by Russia." This is what the Steele Dossier claims. Does Cole really believe it?

Trump was clear on his trip -- he thinks good relations with nations is good for the US and world. This includes N. Korea. He said that in his campaign. The war mongers in the US -- CIA, FBI, NSA, neo-cons, bankers, establishment democrats, McCain, Israel and more don't want good relations with anyone. They want a world of hate, war, killing, and chaos. Trump is a light-weight. He's no match for the war party. Once in a while he says something good, and these Mofos jump all over him. They do not want him opening any relations with Russia. Period. They are wrong.
+10 # 2017-11-13 17:03
Yes, it would be good to have positive, constructive relations with Russia. However, to close our eyes to well documented reality is to play the fool. Trump could be more confrontational with Putin on interference and human rights -- and Putin might, just might have higher regard for Trump -- and be more willing to be a partner in important international relations.
+19 # Texas Aggie 2017-11-13 20:43
Lots of things in this post that are contrary to fact, but let\'s just look at the statement that drumpf thinks good relations with other nations is good for the US.

He has threatened on many occasions to eliminate North Korea in a nuclear holocaust. He has made similar threats against Iran. He has tried on several occasions to prevent citizens of at least six different countries from entering the US all on flimsy logic. He has seriously insulted one of our major trading partners, Mexico, and has insulted another partner, the EU. From what I see, he hasn't said a nice word about anyone except Russia and Israel. This is not the behavior of someone who "thinks good relations with nations is good for the US." That is, unless you grant that he wants to hurt the US.
+5 # DongiC 2017-11-16 17:31
Well said bur rather frightening.
+14 # sbessho 2017-11-14 00:29
"Once in a while he says something good,"

You would never, ever, want a president who only says something good once in a while.
-1 # laborequalswealth 2017-11-14 11:30
Appalling that this post has so many down votes. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??? Do they REALLY want to start World War III with Russia??

The biggest threat to America is not a country half our size on the other side of the planet. The biggest threat is crazy President Agent Orange's APPOINTEES, about whom the DNC is virtually silent.

RR - you are totally SPOT ON.
+6 # sbessho 2017-11-14 21:40
The issue is not binary, as you and RR suggest. There is a possibility of confronting Russia for its interference in our electoral process and pursuing peace through diplomatic means and good faith talks and negotiations--i f we have a functioning state department.
+4 # ericlipps 2017-11-15 18:22
I see. So really, the bad behavior of the Rump and his lackeys is all the fault of the Democratic National Committee.

Pull the other one, why don't you.
+3 # DongiC 2017-11-16 17:42
That's a mighty big "if".
-5 # librarian1984 2017-11-15 08:35
And let's not forget the opposite phenomenon, when they all interrupted their attacks to praise him and talk about how 'presidential' he was as soon as he bombed Syria.

They are training him to do what they want.

And let's also remember that HRC criticized him for not bombing enough and for warning Russia ahead of time to minimize risk to human life.

Disheartened by the number of down votes you got. What you say is eminently reasonable. Does not bode well for post-Trump reforms.
+5 # ericlipps 2017-11-15 18:24
Sigh. I was wondering how long it would take for the usual suspects to start weighing in with shots at Hillary Clinton.
-6 # librarian1984 2017-11-16 08:12
eric, when it's relevant I bring it up, whereas you invoke Ste. Hillary no matter what the topic is. Go back and look. I'll wait.
+38 # No Go 2017-11-13 14:13
Trump as puppet of Putin is pretty much axiomatic at this point
+3 # Anonymot 2017-11-13 14:48
So now the leaders of the left's heroes are Brennan and Clapper.

-13 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-11-13 20:28
Yes, this is the most shocking thing of all. And Harley's point below about Cole siding with Brennan and Clapper and their regimes of torture, spying and so on.

Why are democrats jumping in bed with worst of the worst political actors on earth?

to me, I think Cole is overwhelmed by some patriarchal emotions that he has to defend the defeated and abused Hillary from the predator Trump. He wants to be a "man" and defend the weaker woman. All this is sickening.
+9 # sbessho 2017-11-14 21:43
You know as well as anyone that Hillary is irrelevant at this point. The issue is now Trump's behavior as president, not the vote count on 11/8/16.
0 # harleysch 2017-11-13 15:19
Juan, say it ain't so -- you, too, are giving credibility to Brennan and Clapper! One does not have to be a Trump supporter to cringe at your effort to prop up these two creeps, who have defended torture, cover-ups, spying on virtually everyone, lying to Congress, trying to intimidate Congressional investigators, etc.

Trump has accomplished something truly amazing: he has reduced once reliable, thoughtful progressive journalists to become mouthpieces for despicable criminals they once legitimately reviled!

Juan Cole should review some of his articles from the pre-Trump era -- perhaps he will discover that he once had a soul, and stood for something that progressives admired, i.e., the ability to present a critical view of the daily behavior of the Deep State.
-1 # dusty 2017-11-13 15:35
Juan seems to have succumbed to wanting war with Korea and other weird things from Trump in order for Trump to be real. It isn't Russia's troops who are all over the globe and there is no expectation that "Exceptionalism " should be accepted by other countries. Why should they?
+16 # dotlady 2017-11-13 16:28
So are we saying here that the Kompromat, if it exists, is Russia's key to getting the US to drop sanctions against Russia and let Exxon quickly move in to help Russia drill in the Arctic which could bring in about $600 billion for the company and a big boost to the ailing Russian economy? Does Trump think the outcries about abuse toward women in the US threatens him? Stay tuned, as fascists march in Poland, Germany, Spain and the US, etc. This is more exciting than Dungeons and Dragons.
+15 # tedrey 2017-11-13 16:42
Trump is horrible, agreed. That does not make Brennan an honest informant.

I have come to strongly believe that US intelligence agencies, under many administrations , both Dem and Rep, have a special agenda towards Russia. Putin's Russia is a strong nation which, in pursuit of its own (mostly justifiable) interests, often impedes American economic and political goals. The CIA and the NSA have an agenda which takes priority over finding the facts; namely, to present Russia to the American people as a menacing power that threatens their nation and way of life. This supports American foreign policies (often themselves predatory,) American military and arms expenditures, and also the power within the government of the intelligence agencies themselves. Much of the rest of the world outside the US agrees with this view of the two nations.

There are many actions and policies of Trump which should be opposed. I strongly believe that the one based on US intelligence statements concerning Russia is the weakest of all.
+3 # angelfish 2017-11-13 18:17
You don't have to be a Rocket Scientist to KNOW that Putin makes Trump a quivering, obsequious Clod, NEVER spending a SERIOUS opinion, ALWAYS heaping praise on Putin. WHY is that? Forget Brennan and Clapper. I think it's because Trump is SO FAR embedded up Putin's Anal Cavity that he's afraid to fart in his Bunk lest Putin bring the Hammer down on him. WRONG move, donnie. Be a Man for ONCE in your pitiful, puny life and STAND for SOMETHING American! ALL your phony Patriotism re: the NFL protests are SO lame as to be laughable! Praising a Murderous KGB Despot is Mind Boggling on it's face and INSANE for a POTUS! With God's Good Help, Special Prosecutor Mueller WILL serve you up on a Platter for the Courts to decide your
collusion and Treasonous Behaviors, one way or another! Resist! Rebel! RePudiate!
-4 # Salus Populi 2017-11-17 01:01
I'm really tired of the constant repetition of the tripe that Putin was a killer and KGB thug. In fact, he had a desk job as an analyst while working for them, and when offered a promotion that involved becoming an active field agent, he turned it down and soon afterward resigned from the agency.

During the 1991 attempted counter-coup by the Old Guard, he was assistant to the mayor of St. Petersburg for international affairs, iirc; the mayor was a reformer and supporter of Gorbachev's Perestroika. The mayor was traveling when the attempt took place, and was flying back in that night.

Putin was informed by one of his contacts that the KGB was at the airport waiting for the plane with the intention of either arresting the mayor or worse. Putin raced out to the airport to meet his boss, and stood down his former KGB colleagues, probably saving the mayor's life.

Whereas Yeltsin was a favorite of the West primarily because he was a bibulous and garrulous old man who sold off Russia's resources at fire sale prices, Putin, who succeeded him, led the restoration of the Russian economy, and built the country up into a first rate power that could challenge the "sole superpower."

That, the removal of Russia as a country we could pillage and steal the resources of, was the "crime" that Putin carried out. The crap about election interference is just the demonizing propaganda that the War Party always resorts to when it is planning a new invasion or other crime.
-9 # munley 2017-11-13 18:17
Very annoying. When I click "thumbs down" the number of green approvals go up! Believe me, I'm with Raskolnikov and others like him, and not with the commentators falling for this ugly cover-up by the Democrats--a cover-up of their own incompetence. If Russia were such a big factor in the election, why did HRC get most of the votes? I had a letter in the Roanoke Times today on this subject. Here's the link:
-2 # yolo 2017-11-13 21:39
I really liked Juan Cole when he was offering his insightful commentary on middle eastern history and affairs. But now I am beginning to question his assessment of things and am wondering why he is wading into areas in which he is not knowledgeable. Like what former intelligence officials with histories of lying under oath, and what they think about things.
+8 # barryg 2017-11-13 23:33
Russia interfered in our election. So did the Republican and Democratic parties. Why aren't we talking about that. And who knows who else. Our elections are a feast for hackers of any ilk.

That Trump is compromised is a given. He is a business failure that only the Russians would lend money to. Although he must have accepted a pretty big payoff from the Saudis and Israel also.
-2 # Salus Populi 2017-11-14 08:37
It is ironic in the extreme that the liberal left in this country, and even many progressives, have switched from their position just a year or so ago that Brennan, Clapper, and Comey were serial liars and even perjurers before Congress, and criminals to boot -- all of which is an understatement, and certainly documented and inarguable -- to citing and relying on the statements, delivered with no or false evidence, of these despicable police state hacks.

What a difference a president makes! Just as few liberals gave a shit when Obama was murdering both innocent citizens of sovereign states and U.S. citizens abroad, because Obama was, to them, not a carney barker for right-wing policies but the Great Black Hope, now, with the far right in charge of everything, and more importantly, with the Other Tribe, the Republicans, governing, all of a sudden every presidential or congressional move is back o the table for intense scrutiny and protest -- as the should have been all along, if the left liberals had any principles besides support for the Democrats under every and all circumstances.

One thing we can thank the not-so-crypto fascists for is that by being so blatant in their reactionary corporatism, they awaken the comatose progressive Left, and galvanize it into action.

Now if they could just unite around the most important issues, and overcome the amnesia about the rather checkered careers of most of the politicians in *both* parties .....
-3 # Observer 47 2017-11-14 14:52
B-R-A-V-O!!! Excellent post!
-2 # Dale 2017-11-14 10:20
All this business of Russia Gate is the wrong way to get rid of Trump. Surely he does enough damage to our society without adding bogus charges that are essentially a plot by the Democrats, to cover their own inadequacies.
Some of these critiques, that now appear daily may have a grain of truth, but not much more. They dont take account of the utter hypocrisy of the Dems and all those reverting to the old style red-baiting. The United States interferes in the elections and internal affairs of dozens of countries around the world. Such interference takes the form of regime change, as occured in the Ukraine, and is happening now in Venezuela. Other times, outright military intervention as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Drone murders and Special Ops in dozens of countries, now including Africa. 60 years of boycott continuing against Cuba. Aid to local militaries to overthrow governments or to violently repress those demanding change, Chile, Central America. So get off it Democrats and media. Go after Trump for real, not trumped up, reasons. What Hypocrisy! Russia is not the enemy, Trump is.
+5 # ericlipps 2017-11-15 18:29
But Trump may very well be "the enemy" in part because (1) he was installed in power with the help of a foreign power which may now be blackmailing him and (2) he often seems to put that power's interests before those of our actual allies.
+9 # Elroys 2017-11-14 13:03
i want to thank Trump for his corrupt, moronic behavior and that of his corrupt and greedy cronies. He has become THE catalyst we've been waiting for. No more sleepwalking for Dems, independents and Repubs who have a brain and a soul. From all of us who care about the future for our children, for all those who care about the natural world and mother earth, thank you Trumpty Dumpty. You have awakened the sleeping giant called America. Though Hillary would have been far superior to your insane actions, most people would have felt they are in capable hands, capable heart and soul with Hilary (yes - imperfect though she is) . But we got you, thanks to Vlad Putin and his cronies. Can't wait to see the filth he's got on you - a day for national and global celebration as you are tarred, feathered and run out of Dodge, fitted with a brand new pin striped suit with a new home made of bars (not gold). Lock him up!! and find him a new "girlfriend" who will treat him with the same "love" he treats most women. Goodbye, Donald
-3 # librarian1984 2017-11-15 08:40
Max Blumenthal, a reporter I trust, made a side comment about Jake Tapper when he was on a show. His comment implied that Tapper is a mouthpiece for the intel agencies. I don't remember if he said specifically it was the CIA.
-3 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-11-15 15:36
Clapper lied under oath while testifying before Congress. WHY is he even on this TV show. Brennan at least says,"Russians MAY have interfered in our election". Not one shred of evidence Russia hacked Hillary or the DNC. Not one.
Both these guys (and Hillary) want a new COLD WAR (to justify spending $1Trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons). That's it.

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