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Madam45for2923

(7,178 posts)
Fri Nov 4, 2016, 06:33 AM Nov 2016

Kurt Eichenwald: WHY VLADIMIR PUTIN'S RUSSIA IS BACKING DONALD TRUMP [View all]

Officials from two European countries told Newsweek that Trump’s comments about Russia’s hacking have alarmed several NATO partners because it suggests he either does not believe the information he receives in intelligence briefings, does not pay attention to it, does not understand it or is misleading the American public for unknown reasons. One British official said members of that government who are aware of the scope of Russia’s cyberattacks both in Western Europe and America found Trump’s comments “quite disturbing” because they fear that, if elected, the Republican presidential nominee would continue to ignore information gathered by intelligence services in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

Trump’s behavior, however, has at times concerned the Russians, leading them to revise their hacking and disinformation strategy. For example, when Trump launched into an inexplicable attack on the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat, the Kremlin assumed the Republican nominee was showing himself psychologically unfit to be president and would be forced by his party to withdraw from the race. As a result, Moscow put its hacking campaign temporarily on hold, ending the distribution of documents until Trump stabilized, both personally and in the polls, according to reports provided to Western intelligence.

America’s European partners are also troubled by the actions of several people close to Trump’s campaign and company. Trump has been surrounded by advisors and associates with economic and familial links to Russia. The publicized connections and contacts between former campaign manager Paul Manafort with Ukraine have raised concerns. Former Trump advisor Carter Page is being probed by American and European intelligence on allegations that he engaged in back-channel discussions with Russian government officials over the summer. Page did travel to Moscow, but he denies any inappropriate contact with Russian officials. The allies are also uneasy about retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a Trump advisor who was reportedly considered a possible running mate for the GOP nominee. Last December, Flynn attended a dinner at the Metropol Hotel in honor of the 10th anniversary of RT, a Russian news agency that has been publicly identified by American intelligence as a primary outlet for Moscow’s disinformation campaigns. Flynn, who was two seats away from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the dinner, has frequently appeared on RT, despite public warnings by American intelligence that the news agency is used for Russian propaganda.

MORE: http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia-hillary-clinton-united-states-europe-516895

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