Malcolm Nance didn’t mince his words on Saturday morning, saying that Donald Trump’s behavior over the past few years – particularly during his presidency – shows that he is under complete control of Russia, and he may not even know it.
“Nobody has been able to put their finger on” when Trump actually became an asset of Moscow, but it’s clear that he is one, Nance told MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
Between 2013 and 2015, Donald Trump’s entire foreign policy flipped to Moscow’s. And no one has ever been able to put their finger exactly on when it actually turned, but they do know when it started. It started with the Miss Universe pageant where he was wined and dined and thought that he was meeting Vladimir Putin and making him his best friend. All of these things are part of the MICE acronym – money, ideology, co-option or coercion, and ego. Those are the four factors that you recruit an agent for. He may not even know that he is an asset under your control until you pull that string, and then suddenly you need him to do things for you – and they do.
It’s clear that Trump’s combination of egotism and incompetence is the perfect target for Russia, who is looking for a puppet to do their bidding. Trump, after all, knows very little about American foreign policy or upholding international norms – it’s unclear if he even knows that Russia is U.S. adversary – which makes him a ripe target for Moscow.
Defending American interests would only mean something to a president who knows what those interests are and cares to uphold them – Trump doesn’t, and the Russians have known that for a long time.