Information warfare expert explains how Putin has already won -- and Trump isn't protecting Americans
US President Donald Trump (right) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017 (AFP Photo/JORGE SILVA)

Former advisor to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvli and information warfare expert Molly McKew warned that the United States is quickly approaching a line from which they cannot cross when it comes to the dangers posed by Russia.


In an MSNBC panel discussion, McKew explained that not only is President Donald Trump calling the European Union "a foe," he equated them to China and Russia.

"You've had the president of the United States coming out and saying that an attack, a multi-year operation run by Russian military officers against the United States of America doesn't mean anything," she explained. "So, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has already gotten what he needs out of this, which is a president of the United States which is explicitly ignoring an act of war against the American homeland."

She went on to say that she anticipates the two leaders smiling and waving, telling a few jokes while laughing for cameras. Doing so gives Putin everything he needs.

Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff said that any comments coming out about the meeting between the two men should be questioned, because Trump made it clear he doesn't want anyone to be in the room.

"I just want to emphasize something that's pretty extraordinary about this particular moment right now in the aftermath of that indictment on Friday," he continued. "Look, nobody believes that those 12 GRU officers who were indicted were acting on their own. And let's remember that the U.S. intelligence assessment in January 2017 said all this activity was ordered by Putin himself."

Reading the fine print of the indictments raises the questions of whether Putin is an unindicted co-conspirator, he said.

David Ignatius agreed that the detail of the indictment was a powerful indication that investigators have a extraordinary breadth of information on this incident. He thinks that Putin might be wondering what else the U.S. has on those 12 GRU officers

McKew anticipates that despite the information the U.S. might have, Putin will still likely try to manipulate Trump into giving him something. She said that it could be Syria or Ukraine and that it is unclear.

"But I think that there will be an effort to continue to try to win the president, to charm the president, to get him to believe that Putin is this great potential ally and that no one else can possibly be so sweet," she continued. "The problem is we've had two consecutive presidents that have failed to find the magic formula to address Russia, and at this point we've ceded too much territory to Russia and unless we start fighting back soon, it's almost too late to reverse it."

She cautioned Trump that if he doesn't come out at least willing to take the swing, "I think that we need to wonder what else there is that we aren't seeing. This is targeted at American citizens directly," she said. "If our government is doing nothing to defend us, then somebody else needs to step into that space. In the meantime there's an awful lot that needs to be discussed."

Watch the full discussion below: