Conservative writer Max Boot laid out a detailed case showing that President Donald Trump could be a Russian asset — but he can’t find any evidence to disprove that theory.
The national security analyst examined publicly reported evidence of Trump’s business and personal ties to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and found 18 reasons to believe the president may be working against U.S. interests, Boot wrote for the Washington Post.
The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of Trump after he fired former FBI director James Comey, and that work may still be ongoing under special counsel Robert Mueller, who has indicted Russians and former Trump campaign officials for activity during the 2016 campaign.
Boot summarized the president’s business dealings with Russia, and listed numerous examples of Trump siding with Putin against U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and listed other examples of his strange and troubling behavior regarding the foreign adversary.
“I can’t think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grasping what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power,” Boot wrote.
Trump claims he has been tougher on Russia than any other president, but Boot said most punitive measures against the Kremlin have come from Congress or Trump aides — and he pointed out the president had been “furious” over these measures.
“This is hardly a ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ case that Trump is a Russian agent — certainly not in the way that Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were,” Boot wrote. “But it is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, ‘an unwitting agent of the Russian federation’ (Morell) or a ‘useful fool’ who is “manipulated by Moscow” (Hayden).”
“If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one,” he added.