Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot told CNN on Monday that it was 'bonkers' how many ways President Donald Trump was implicated as a Russian asset, and said the entire episode was like something out of a spy movie.
"This is like something out of 'The Manchurian Candidate' or 'The Americans'," said Boot, whose column Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset hit newsstands Sunday. "This is the realm of spy fiction becoming reality. It would have seemed bonkers until Trump but it's not bonkers anymore."
Boot highlighted President Trump's "entangling financial relationship" to Russia, including plans he pursued while running for president to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, saying that the president was "potentially open to blackmail." He also noted that Trump can't seem to stop praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, even when it was highly inappropriate.
"Donald Trump is like Don Rickles in the White House, he's an insult machine," Boot said. "But he doesn't insult Vladimir Putin. Even when Putin does something like expelling American diplomats, Donald Trump actually thanks him for that."
Boot also slammed Trump's newly revealed efforts to hide the interpreter's notes from his highly unusual one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki, saying he could "not imagine an innocent explanation for that kind of behavior."
"Why on Earth would a U.S. President want to conceal his dealings with the Russian president from his own aides?" Boot asked, noting that White House staff still don't know what the president and Putin discussed. "That's as fishy as you can get."
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