Is Donald Trump being blackmailed by Russia? And if he is, how would we know?
Ever since the Russia investigation began, the questions have been asked: What might the Russians have on Trump? Why does he refuse to criticize Russian president Vladimir Putin or even enforce the sanctions passed late last year by Congress?
Jonathan Chait of New York has been thinking about the matter of blackmail as it relates to Trump and recently wrote an article which suggests how we can surmise that the president is indeed being manipulated:
“We have no idea if the wildest and most memorable allegation Christopher Steele picked up in his investigation of Donald Trump — that the future president is vulnerable to Russian blackmail related to his paying Russian prostitutes in 2013 — is true. There are two common grounds for skepticism. One is that Trump, who is known both for his affairs and for grabbing women, would pay for sex. The second is that a man so happily associated with infidelity and vice could be blackmailed at all. We now know neither of these objections holds water.”
Chait then carefully lays out his case, noting:
- Trump habitually pays for sex. He did so with Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. He pays to keep people quiet, meaning he fears the release of compromising information about him.
- The Russians have perfected the craft of collecting embarrassing information on Americans for decades. It’s a major part of their spycraft.
- Trump traveled to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which he held the rights to. In other words, he’s been to Russia and could have engaged in risky behavior while there.
- Trump hates former President Obama.
Now that we have those facts on table where they can be examined by everyone willing to look, let’s go one more step with Chait:
“Far from being bizarre, imagining Trump paying prostitutes to pee on a bed Obama used as a primitive revenge ritual, and Russians taping the episode, is perfectly consistent with what we know about both parties.
“Trump clearly feels protective of his financial information. Some of that information is in the hands of his business partners, many of whom are associated with Russia or are unsavory in some other way.”
This collection of facts can suggest only one logical conclusion, Chait writes:
“All in all, the odds are disconcertingly high that Russia, or somebody, has blackmail leverage over the president of the United States.”
Trump is compromised, and that makes him a danger to this country and the entire free world.