National security expert John Schindler, a former NSA analyst, argued on Thursday that President Donald Trump should fear assassination by Russian President Vladimir Putin if he becomes no longer valuable to the Russian Federation.
In a column for the Observer, Schindler writes that Putin "can do worse" to Trump than the impeachment proceedings he might be facing after special counsel Robert Mueller closes his investigation into Russia's attack on the U.S. election system.
According to Schindler, Trump "blew apart more than a year’s worth of increasingly threadbare lies about the June 9, 2016 meeting" with Russians in Trump Tower by admitting on Twitter that it had been about obtaining damaging information on then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
"There can be no doubt that the Trump Tower meeting, from Moscow’s viewpoint, was a clandestine intelligence operation," he notes. "[I]n one tweet, President Trump shattered his mantra of 'NO COLLUSION' that he yelled in so many tweets before."
"However, Donald Trump’s real concern should not be with Robert Mueller and his veteran investigators, but with his amigo manqué in the Kremlin," Schindler continues. "Vladimir Putin no longer bothers to conceal his disappointment with President Trump."
The Kremlin’s ability to harm President Trump should not be underestimated. Given the president’s longstanding ties to dubious Russians, a matter he has treated with the greatest secrecy, there’s no doubt that Putin possesses kompromat on Trump, including some of a sordid variety, to be released as needed. If the Kremlin believes that Trump has no chance of helping Russia anymore, they will sacrifice him to create ever-greater chaos in America and the West. Keep in mind that [Russian agent] Natalya Veselnitskaya’s bombshell interview this spring was only possible with Kremlin permission.
Schindler concludes his column by raising the specter of assassination.
"President Trump has more than mere kompromat to worry about here," he says. "Under Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence has embarked on a global assassination spree of a kind not seen in the Kremlin since Stalin’s time... [L]ess than three years ago, Putin’s operatives murdered in the heart of our nation’s capital, just a mile from the White House."
"That message was hard to miss," he adds. "Robert Mueller can open the door to Donald Trump’s impeachment and prosecution. Vladimir Putin can do worse and does not need to play by any legal rules."