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KGB started watching Trump in 1977 and made first move to recruit him as an asset in 1986: report

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President Donald Trump was first approached by Russian operatives in 1987 when the man who would go on to become Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin opened discussions with Trump about a Moscow real estate project.

However, according to a Politico report published Sunday, Trump appeared on Soviet spy agency the KGB’s radar nearly a decade earlier when he married Czech model Ivana Zelnickova.

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“During the Cold War, Czech spies were known for their professionalism. Czech and Hungarian officers were typically used in espionage actions abroad, especially in the United States and Latin America. They were less obvious than Soviet operatives sent by Moscow,” wrote Luke Harding.

Because of her country of origin, Soviet and U.S. intelligence agencies would be routinely monitoring the woman who became Ivana Trump and her new husband, but the first attempt to activate Trump as a Russian asset came when Natalia Dubinin brought her father Yuri to Trump Tower.

In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union was moving to cultivate non-traditional assets in the U.S., leaving aside the communist rallies and trade unions of mid-century Cold War spycraft. Recruiters were urged to look for people susceptible to money and flattery and the newly minted Manhattan real estate baron fit the bill.

“Further improvement in operational work with agents calls for fuller and wider utilisation of confidential and special unofficial contacts. These should be acquired chiefly among prominent figures in politics and society, and important representatives of business and science,” said a Soviet spy manual of the era.

“These should not only ‘supply valuable information’ but also ‘actively influence’ a country’s foreign policy ‘in a direction of advantage to the USSR.’” Harding said.

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In January of 1987, Dubinin invited Trump to Moscow, which intelligence agencies now view as a “classic cultivation exercise.”

In Moscow, Trump was reportedly showered with luxuries and “lavish hospitality,” said Harding.

“Everything is free. There are good parties with nice girls. It could be a sauna and girls and who knows what else,” said former KGB — and its successor the GRU — agent Viktor Suvorov. All premises Trump visited on the trip would have been under “24-hour control” and surveillance.

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“The interest is only one,” Suvorov explained. “To collect some information and keep that information about him for the future.”

The KGB cultivated a number of young potential assets this way including students from around the world, Suvorov said. Some would go on to be “nobodies,” but others would eventually rise to positions of power and prominence.

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“It’s at this point you say: ‘Knock, knock! Do you remember the marvelous time in Moscow? It was a wonderful evening. You were so drunk. You don’t remember? We just show you something for your good memory,'” said the former spy.

“Nothing came of the trip — at least nothing in terms of business opportunities inside Russia,” wrote Harding. “This pattern of failure would be repeated in Trump’s subsequent trips to Moscow. But Trump flew back to New York with a new sense of strategic direction. For the first time he gave serious indications that he was considering a career in politics. Not as mayor or governor or senator.”

“Trump,” Harding said, “was thinking about running for president.”

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Read the full report here.


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2020 Election

Get ready for petulant Trump to punish America if Biden wins

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What could happen to America if Trump were to further, severely crash the U.S. economy the day after Joe Biden is announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential race?

As Trump tweeted on June 15, 2019, “if anyone but me takes over… there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”

On July 6, 2020, he tweeted, “If you want your 401k’s and Stocks, which are getting close to an all time high (NASDAQ is already there), to disintegrate and disappear, vote for the Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats and Corrupt Joe Biden.”

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Trump campaign lashes out at GOP congressman for calling QAnon conspiracy theory a ‘fabrication’

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This Wednesday, Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger posted a message to Twitter denouncing the QAnon conspiracy theory cult, saying the people who adhere to the cult's claims have no place in Congress.

"Qanon is a fabrication. This 'insider' has predicted so much incorrectly (but people don’t remember PAST predictions) so now has switched to vague generalities," he wrote. "Could be Russian propaganda or a basement dweller. Regardless, no place in Congress for these conspiracies."

Kinzinger's tweet caught the eye of President Trump's Deputy Director of Communications Matt Wolking, who apparently took issue with the Representative's suggestion that QAnon could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

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2020 Election

Kamala Harris reading guide: The best reporting on the vice presidential candidate

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Harris has spent decades in elected office, moving from prosecutor to the presidential trail. If you are just catching up, here are some of the highlights of her journey.

On Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his vice presidential running mate. We’ve collected some of the best stories on Harris to get you up to speed on the candidate.

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