Darden: Trump fears there is kompromat out there—maybe a lot of it

PONARS Eurasia
31 Jul 2018

(Forbes) On returning to Washington, he heard from both parties that for the first time in the history of the United States, an American president had been unwilling to defend the country from a hostile foreign power that had attacked it and that he had been faithless to his oath of office.

Realizing the breadth and strength of the outcry, Trump made some motions to walk back some of the more egregious statements, but his heart wasn’t in the retractons, and his statements sounded like hostage videos that he was being compelled to read. [...]

On this theory, there is no need to assume that Trump is a formal agent of Russian intelligence for him to be a tool of the Russians. “Keith Darden, an international-relations professor at American University, has studied the Russian use of kompromat—compromising material—and thinks it is likely that the President believes the Russians have something on him.

Trump has made a lot of money doing deals with businesspeople from the former Soviet Union, and at least some of these deals bear many of the warning signs of money laundering and other financial crimes." [...]

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