Prof. Stephen Cohen: Allegations Against Trump a 'Grave American National Security Threat'
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton, spoke with Fox News' Tucker Carlson Wednesday evening about the most recent unsubstantiated report about President-elect Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia. Cohen, who is also a contributing editor for The Nation , has been (fairly or unfairly) referred to as “a slavish defender of Putinism” and "Vladimir Putin's best friend in the American media." But he has an incisive, sharp intellect and a highly informed point of view on Russia that deserves a hearing.
Carlson asked Cohen what he thought of the salacious dossier published by BuzzFeed Tuesday.
"You're talking about the stuff released yesterday about the sexual and financial blackmail?" Cohen asked.
"That's right," answered Tucker. "That he's basically a pawn, in effect, in Russia -- they're blackmailing him to do their bidding."
"This is, if not the endgame, if not the last chapter, an attempt to destroy Trump's presidency before he gets to the White House," said the professor.
"As for that document -- published in BuzzFeed or whatever -- I've seen stuff like that before in Moscow. It's junk."
He continued, "You send me to Moscow and I could get you a better dossier and it wouldn't even have the factual errors in it. It's scuttlebutt, it's rumor. It's generated by so-called private intelligence agents who are out there to make a buck. They'll sell it to anybody."
Cohen asked, "What is it doing in our political discourse? What are the motives? Why did CNN put it on the air? Why is the FBI and the CIA even touching this stuff?"
"Something's going on," he continued ominously. "I've been doing this -- studying Russia as a professor and even was on the inside for 40 years -- I've never seen anything like this. People in the mainstream media -- authoritative media, places like The New York Times -- are calling Trump a puppet of the Kremlin! They're wounding him mortally as a national security president before he even gets in the White House."
Cohen pointed out that the Russia rumors originated with the Clinton campaign.
"It didn't begin with this, it began with the Clinton campaign when they decided to run against Trump and Putin instead of Trump and Pence," he explained. "It got picked up with this so-called three intelligence agency report, published last week that was absolutely empty. Even The New York Times -- which is very anti-Trump and anti-Russian -- referred to that intelligence report as lacking any evidence whatsoever. Now we get what is essentially tabloid stuff. I can only assume -- it's an assumption -- that people in this country are desperate to ruin Trump for various reasons and one way is to stop any detente or cooperation with Russia."