The fact that Donald Trump as President of the United States was so enthusiastic about the Kremlin’s interests did not come out of a vacuum. This is illustrated in a new book by journalist Craig Unger. The Russian Secret Service began successfully raising Trump more than 40 years ago.
One of the main sources in the book is Yuri Schwitz, now 67, a former major in the KGB. Schwyz moved to the United States in the 1980s under the cover of a correspondent for the Russian news agency TASS. These days he works as a private security researcher. He worked closely with Alexander Litvinenko, another former KGB member, who was exposed to polonium poisoning in England in 2006.
The book describes how Trump appeared on the Russian radar early in 1977 when he married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelnikova. This immediately made Trump a target of espionage by Czechoslovak security forces who had close ties to the KGB. When Trump opened his first hotel three years later, the Grand Hyatt in New York, he had 200 televisions in places he bought from a KGB-run electronics store. The store operator had suspected KGB observer Simeon Keslin who identified Trump as a budding businessman could be of benefit to Russians.
Trump visited Russia for the first time in 1987 with his then-wife, Ivana. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, the KGB spoke of Trump and was convinced of the necessity to enter politics. According to Schwitz, the Secret Service had gathered a lot of information about Trump in previous years and they knew exactly how to play his role: “He was seen as intellectually weak, extremely psychologically weak and prone to flattery.”
This is what they took advantage of. They played the game as if they were a huge fan of his character and thought this was the man who should someday become President of the United States: People like him who could change the world.
Soon after returning to the United States, Trump registered as a Republican and explored options to run for president. In an advertisement in the New York Times, he accused Japan of exploiting America and questioned America’s membership in NATO. Trump felt that the United States should stop spending money on countries that could not defend themselves. Campaign greeted enthusiastically in Moscow. Trump’s recruitment was deemed extremely successful. Ultimately, this did not lead to a political career. In 1999, Trump briefly joined the Reform Party, switching to the Democrats in 2001 and finally returning to the Republicans in 2009.
The fact that Unger and Schwitz are now making these discoveries is partly due to their disappointment with the Russian investigation of Robert Mueller: “ People expected a thorough investigation into the relations between Trump and Moscow, but all they got was an investigation. In crimes. Nothing has been received regarding counterintelligence. This is what we wanted to correct.
According to Unger, the Kremlin’s concrete plan was never the inauguration of Trump as President of the United States, but it was just a coincidence: “He was just a pawn at the beginning. It was not a big plan in advance to make him president for 40 years. In the 1980s, people were recruited madly, and the Ki drove away. GB dozen people.But Trump was the ideal candidate in many ways: his ego and narcissism made him a natural target.
Bron: The Guardian