‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy
Donald Trump’s election win in 2016 was welcomed by Moscow.
The KGB ‘played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality’, Yuri Shvets, a key source for a new book, tells the Guardian.
„Trump’s election win in 2016 was again welcomed by Moscow. Special counsel Robert Mueller did not establish a conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. But the Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, found the Trump campaign and transition team had at least 272 known contacts and at least 38 known meetings with Russia-linked operatives.
Shvets, who has carried out his own investigation, said: “For me, the Mueller report was a big disappointment because people expected that it will be a thorough investigation of all ties between Trump and Moscow, when in fact what we got was an investigation of just crime-related issues. There were no counterintelligence aspects of the relationship between Trump and Moscow.”
He added: “This is what basically we decided to correct. So I did my investigation and then got together with Craig. So we believe that his book will pick up where Mueller left off.”
Unger, the author of seven books and a former contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine, said of Trump: “He was an asset. It was not this grand, ingenious plan that we’re going to develop this guy and 40 years later he’ll be president. At the time it started, which was around 1980, the Russians were trying to recruit like crazy and going after dozens and dozens of people.”
“Trump was the perfect target in a lot of ways: his vanity, narcissism made him a natural target to recruit. He was cultivated over a 40-year period, right up through his election.”