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‘Greed, corruption, ego’: Ex-CIA intel officer explains why Russian operatives saw Trump as the perfect mark

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Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA intelligence officer who is now a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, has written a lengthy analysis of why Russian intelligence agents would have seen President Donald Trump as the perfect target for their operations.

Writing in Just Security, Mowatt-Larssen says that Trump possesses all of “the classical vulnerabilities that intelligence officers seek to identify and exploit including sexual indiscretions, greed, corruption, revenge, and most of all, ego.”

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While assessing Trump’s fitness to be an asset, Russian officials would begin slowly by “initiating mutually beneficial activity to test receptiveness to a deepening relationship” — such as, say, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow.

Mowatt-Larssen then explains how Trump’s announced presidential run must have proven irresistible for Russian agents — and he says that any work trying to reach out to the Trump campaign would have been done gradually and slowly, rather than simply diving in with a plan to collude.

“In carrying out the election operation, it is possible Russian intelligence may never have felt the need to confront Trump directly with any compromising material (Kompromat) they had collected, particularly if they assessed that it was not sufficiently serious to serve as the basis of meaningful control over him,” he writes. “Trump’s potentially greatest vulnerability to compromise is that he is a natural autocrat. He admires Putin because the Russian strong man is a role model for Trump. It is no surprise that the number of the Russian overtures to the Trump campaign included dangling the carrot of a meeting with Putin—they knew that was a prize Trump coveted.”

The entire piece is worth reading and can be found at this link.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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