(WP) On Tuesday, news broke—in rather sensational fashion—that U.S. intelligence agencies had briefed both President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump on the possibility that Russia possesses compromising information on Trump. While questions continue to swirlabout the veracity of this (and other) claims in the “Trump Dossier,” as David Filipov and Andrew Roth have pointed out here at The Washington Post, the idea that Russia could have tried to gather “kompromat” on Trump, as such material is known in Russian, does not come as a surprise to longtime Russia watchers.
For further clarification, I reached out to American University political scientist Keith Darden, who has been studying the use of kompromat in the post-Soviet space for years. What follows is a lightly edited version of our conversation. […]
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