Ex-CIA official says there’s a 98 percent chance Russia has dirt on Trump: Putin 'can wipe him out'
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin (Kremlin photo)

A top former official at the Central Intelligence Agency predicted a 96 percent chance that financial entanglements are the reason United States President Donald Trump refuses to criticize Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

During a Wednesday appearance on Deadline: White House -- guest hosted by John Heilemann -- Jeremy Bash quantified the odds for Trump's motivation. Bash served as chief of staff at both the CIA and the Pentagon.

Heilemann began by citing two tweets that President Trump sent to defend his actions.

"Jeremy Bash, my question to you, my friend, is this. You read the tweets. Is that a sufficient, reasonable plausible explanation for what went on yesterday with the Putin call?" Heilemann asked.

"Well, I think we have to start from the premise, John, we have a foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia that makes no sense," Bash responded. "We have an approach to Russia that makes no sense, the question is why."

"I think there is a small possibility, maybe two percent, that Russia has something personally on Trump," Bash suggested. "There is a two percent chance that maybe Trump has figured out something in international relations no one else has figured out."

"But I think there is a 96 percent chance there are financial ties between the Trump organization and the Russian Federation and people around Putin where they can wipe Trump out financially and he doesn't want to offend them," he concluded. "I think that is really what is going on here."

"Jeremy, my math is not great, but I think that adds up to 98 percent they have something on Trump either personal or financial, right?" Heilemann followed up.

"I think that's right," Bash confirmed.

"Okay," Heilemann noted. "That is a very high percentage."