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National security expert explains how Russian operatives compromise people like Trump

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On Sunday, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted that talks about the construction of Trump Tower in Moscow continued up to November of 2016.

“Well, it’s our understanding that they went on throughout 2016. Weren’t a lot of them, but there were conversations. Can’t be sure of the exact date. But the president can remember having conversations with [Michael Cohen] about it,” Giuliani said.

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The admission raises questions about whether President Trump’s approach to Russia, such as his promise as candidate to lift sanctions, was driven by his own financial interests.

On CNN Monday, national security attorney Susan Hennessey explained that the Russia playbook involves a “carrot and stick” approach that mixes threatening behavior—like potential blackmail—with financial incentives to achieve their geopolitical goals.

“So we’ve seen the model by which they use the carrot and the stick. The threat of something holding over you but also an incentive,” she says. “A reason to want to favor their interest. So I think this is something that is sort of right out of the Russian playbook.”

“And notably, this is something that as a candidate, Donald Trump would have been and reportedly was warned about,” she added. “The Russians use these tactics in order to ultimately compromise people.”

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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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