The following is an excellent article written by Mark Sumner on the Daily Kos website on January 27, 2017 titled “To Russia, With Love: Donald Trump Ready to Deliver $500 Billion Check to Putin” and I quote:
It’s always fun when news of the US President’s schedule breaks first in Russian media, but the upcoming Trump — Putin chat appears to be on.
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will finally hold their first official conversation on Saturday, Putin’s spokesman said Friday.
What will they say to each other after the ritual exchange of reassuring praise? There’s one big topic of discussion: It’s time for Trump to cut the check for the services rendered by Putin.
On Putin’s desk: A deal signed by Rex Tillerson that will give Russia $500B dollars if sanctions are lifted. That’s enough to allow Putin to continue his military expansion and plug the gap on his bleeding economy for a decade or more.
On Trump’s desk: An executive order to “ease” the sanctions so that Russia can cash that ExxonMobil check. So don’t say that Donald Trump never pays his debts.
And of course, in addition to the largest business deal in history, Trump might have a longer list of names to hand over.
Moscow’s establishment has welcomed Trump as a pragmatist who will not try to enforce American values on the rest of the world. In a nationally televised news conference earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov railed against the “messianism” and export by the West of “post-Christian values” that embrace “permissiveness,” a nod toward the conservative ethos that has found increasing support in the Kremlin.
If it’s not clear, what the Russian Foreign Minister is saying here is “thank God that Trump will allow us to be as cruel to gays as we want, and not complain when we pass laws saying it’s okay to beat your wife.”
But of course, blowing off the sanctions is the real sweet deal for Putin. Russia’s military expenditures in Ukraine and Syria, along with the continued low price of oil, have left Putin badly strapped for cash. It’s placed a cap on his ambitions in Eastern Europe, and limited his ability to strong-arm governments into taking Russia-approved positions. For Trump to lift the sanctions would be against the national interest of the United States in almost every way imaginable. But he seems prepared to go there.
Meanwhile, FSB officer Sergei Mikhailov, is alleged to have been working as a United States mole within the upper echelons of Russia’s cyber-security apparatus.
A senior Russian intelligence officer and cybersecurity investigator arrested last month on treason charges allegedly was passing information to U.S. intelligence services, according to Russian media outlets. …
Russian media says the FSB believes Mikhailov tipped U.S. intelligence about Vladimir Fomenko and his server rental company “King Servers.” The U.S. cybersecurity company Threat Connect identified King Servers last year as an “information nexus” used by hackers suspected of working for Russian intelligence in cyberattacks on electoral systems in Arizona and Illinois.
If Mikhailov was a highly placed, important US source, his unmasking shortly after Trump’s team received briefings on the nature of the intelligence community’s information about Russian hacking seems, at best, highly coincidental. That’s especially true in light of multiple statements from Trump and other members of his regime in which they appeared to take the word of Russian sources over the evidence presented by the IC. Members of Trump’s regime, including Micheal Flynn, have had multiple communications with Russian officials.
It wouldn’t have taken pointing out Mikhailov by name to result in his arrest along with two other cyber-security specialists in Russia. Knowing that one of the sources was highly placed within the FSB could have been enough to shine a spotlight on an invaluable asset to the United States, not to mention put an end to the lives of three men.
That some member of the Trump regime is responsible for outing Mikhailov is, for the moment, little better than speculation. The frightening thing is just how easy it is to believe that speculation from a group that has bent over backwards at every opportunity to paint Russia in the best possible light while degrading the value and quality of US intelligence.
If the Trump team didn’t reveal Mikhailov and the others directly, they might easily have done so with their blatant disregard for security.
The president’s desire to use his old, personal smartphone raises concerns that its use could be exposing him and the nation to security threats.
Donald Trump has taken a lot of actions in this first week, continuing the Gish Gallop with which he conducted his campaign and, if anything, making it worse. But what was true in August is still true.
Donald Trump may be acting crazy, but it’s keeping the news away from the one story he wants to bury.
The story then, the story now, is Trump’s subservience to Putin and his willingness to do absolutely anything to forward the Russian agenda.