MSNBC host stunned after ex-White House official explains how Russia is ‘playing’ Trump to advance Putin's nuclear ambitions
United States of America President Donald Trump shaking hands with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. (Kremlin photo.)

Former White House Senior Director Nayyera Haq told MSNBC on Friday that Russia's agenda is "to use Donald Trump" to advance that country's nuclear weaponry goal after the United States announced it's withdrawing from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty due to Russian noncompliance.

"The treaty compliance is important, certainly the instigating factor," said Haq. But she cautioned that President Trump's motives were unclear, at best.

"Overall, we have a president who himself does not see a problem with having a vast array of nuclear weapons. In fact, he's stated several times publicly 'why do we have nuclear weapons if we're not using them,'" she said, noting that Trump "deals with nuclear weapons in a very cavalier way."

"He also has this association with Putin, several one-on-one meetings where we don't know what's discussed," Haq continued. "So it seems there may actually be a broader Russia agenda to use Donald Trump to advance Russia's nuclear interests." This threw host Stephanie Ruhle for a loop, who asked Haq to clarify.

"Donald Trump has known the entire time that Russia has been in violation of this treaty," Haq said. "I think it meets Putin's objective to have a Trump administration and a White House that is not as concerned about nuclear threats and negotiating within the context of a treaty framework."

"This is all playing into Putin's hands for how he wants to be the leader in Europe," she added.

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