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January 13, 2017

DAVID SATTER: The ‘Trump Report’ Is a Russian Provocation.

The recently released report that asserts that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been “cultivating assisting and supporting Trump” for years and that the Russians have compromising information (kompromat) on him is, I believe, a deliberate Russian provocation. Trump has denounced the report as “fake news” and has even cited Russian denials of the report in his defense. His opponents suggest that the report is credible and are demanding an investigation of the allegations.

In both cases, however, the report is accepted as the product of a private investigation that may or may not have been honest rather than what I believe it to be — a carefully constructed attempt to disrupt American political life for years to come.

Moscow doesn’t need a Manchurian Candidate in the White House, and probably couldn’t get one anyway. But a politically paralyzed “main enemy” gives Putin the freedom of action and near-superpower status his country can’t earn on its own merits.