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Putin's Top Accomplishment Is Still Playing Out In U.S. Domestic Politics

A Stain On American Constitutional History Forever


A history of this blip in time will be incomplete if it doesn’t mention that Vladimir Putin pulled off the most successful foreign policy coup in Russian history. For a pittance, he saddled the United States with Trump, thereby ripping to shreds his country’s primary enemy’s domestic cohesion. Putin had probably never imagined it would go as far as the coup attempt, the J-6 insurrection and certainly never imagined Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett... but what an incredible series of bonuses! For Russia.


Yesterday, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok, who headed up the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s role in putting Trump into the White House— and was fired by Trump— published a short thread on Twitter that a friend suggested I share here. Here it is, in narrative form:


“Take a moment,” he wrote, “to think about the staggering counterintelligence issues in the crazy Dec 18, 2020 White House meeting. In the Oval Office, people advocated Trump illegitimately hold on to power, including using the military to seize voting machines. That group included:

  • Mike Flynn, who who was paid by an organ of Russian state media to travel to Moscow to attend a dinner where he was seated next to Putin. Flynn later plead guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador about election interference.

  • Patrick Byrne, one of several men once in an intimate relationship with convicted Russian agent Marina Butina. Byrne gave money to Butina after her return to Russia, where she ran for the Duma, hounded Navalny, and supported the invasion of Ukraine.

  • Rudy Giuliani, who repeatedly met with and took info from sanctioned Russian agents like Andrii Derkach, despite USIC warnings to the White House in 2019 that Trump’s personal lawyer “was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence”

So in this tiny meeting in the Oval Office where options to upend US democracy were advanced to the President of the United States, there were not one, not two, but three people directly linked to sanctioned and convicted agents of the Russian government. While I doubt Russia planned it, their efforts to gain access to Trump’s inner sanctum succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. And it demonstrates just how successful seemingly amateurish intelligence activity can be.”




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