Russian Roulette

Out next week: Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

Yahoo News has an excerpt:

What could possibly explain Trump’s unwavering sympathy for the Russian strongman, his refusal to acknowledge Putin’s repressive tactics, his whitewashing of Putin’s abuses in Ukraine and Syria, his dismissal of the murders of Putin’s critics, his blind eye to Putin’s cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at subverting Western democracies?

Trump’s brief trip to Moscow held clues to this mystery. His two days there would later become much discussed because of allegations that he engaged in weird sexual antics while in Russia — claims that were not confirmed. But this visit was significant because it revealed what motivated Trump the most: the opportunity to build more monuments to himself and to make more money. Trump realized that he could attain none of his dreams in Moscow without forging a bond with the former KGB lieutenant colonel who was now the president of Russia.

This trek to Russia was the birth of a bromance — or something darker — that would soon upend American politics and then scandalize Trump’s presidency. And it began in the most improbable way — as the brainstorm of a hustling music publicist trying to juice the career of a second-tier pop singer.

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