During the televised portion of his cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump delivered a bizarre rant about how the war in Afghanistan led to the collapse of the Soviet Union which has been widely mocked by American journalists and historians, including even the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board.
Trump falsely claimed that Russia invaded Afghanistan because "terrorists were going into Russia" and "literally they went bankrupt" as a result.
On Friday, MSNBC's Brian Williams brought up Trump's retelling of history with two experts, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi and Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.).
"It's an astonishing assertion by the president," said McCaffrey. "It sounds as if the talking points are written by the GRU... This is a truly astonishing, ignorant statement by the president."
Figliuzzi said American counterintelligence agencies will want to know where Trump got his warped ideas about the subject.
"The counterintelligence side is going to take a look at why it is our president is siding with a communist regime claiming that the Russians were 'right' to go into Afghanistan," Figliuzzi said. "They're going to want to know the reasoning behind that, and where it's coming from."
There may be a "benign" explanation, but this may be another sign that Trump has been compromised by Russia.
"The FBI is going to look at it even more deeply to say, look, there are a couple of other options, once you set aside incompetence," he said. "There's another option, the president has deliberately chosen to regurgitate the Putin line, the Russian line on this, because he somehow needs to paint Russia in the most favorable light, and why is that?"
Asking this type of question is exactly how counterintelligence investigations get started, Figliuzzi said.
"We need to help understand whether that's because it serves his agenda to appease Russia, to say to them, 'You may have compromised me, we may have a problem here, but I'm on your side.' And, look, while this sounds like conjecture to many people, this is what counterintelligence agents do for a living."
Watch the segment below.