Over the past 48 hours, the Internet exploded with theories that Donald Trump could be a Russian agent and fully serves Vladimir Putin’s interests.
It’s actually a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at the same time. Even though Trump himself admitted that he admires the Russian President for being “very much of a leader” and even gave him an ‘A’ for his presidential work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is Russia’s puppet.
Yes, Trump may be inspired by some of Putin’s leadership values and he may even adopt some of his approaches if elected President of the United States on November 8, but the media is wrong when it claims Trump is a Russian agent.
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Trump is helping Putin take over the world
In reality, Trump, as he himself puts it, is very “greedy” and wants to “grab all that money” to benefit the United States. But in order to “grab” all that money, Trump would have to do things that benefit not only U.S. interests, but also Russia’s interest.
Therefore, Trump would be unintentionally helping out Putin to finally turn some of his foreign policy goals into reality.
During the third and final presidential debate, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused her rival of being Putin’s “puppet.” Clinton has long accused Trump of his links to Russia and even claimed he helped Russia interfere in the US election.
It has been proven that Russia’s hacks of America’s presidential election data was designed to damage Clinton’s campaign, but does it mean that the Republican candidate was in any way involved in the hack?
Trump wants Russia to spy on U.S.?
Not really. Russia doesn’t need insiders in the U.S. to perform a sophisticated computer hack. And just because Russia’s hacking campaign has the goal to throw mud at Clinton doesn’t mean Trump is helping. It only means that Putin picked a side.
And even Trump saying “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find” tens of thousands of emails Clinton’s aides have destroyed, doesn’t mean Trump is inviting the Russians to spy on America.
But, as mentioned above, Russia needs no invitation to spy on America. In fact, both the U.S. and Russia spy on one another all the time, and Trump’s comments, which prompted Clinton to call him a traitor, were just the good old sarcasm.
Clinton also claims that the Republican candidate should be considered Russia’s agent because he has many sponsors from Russia. Trump has been running a number of businesses all around the world, including in Russia, for decades, so just because his presidential campaign has sponsors from Russia doesn’t make him Putin’s puppet.
The only worrying about Trump’s presidency is his choice of advisors. Earlier this year, the real estate mogul identified Carter Page as a foreign policy advisor. Page worked with state-owned Russian energy companies that have suffered a lot due to U.S. sanctions.
It’s unclear whether or not Trump would lift America’s sanctions against Russia and its energy and oil sectors, which remain the country’s key sectors of profit, if elected President this year.
Trump wants to make Putin his partner
Interestingly, it’s been typically Republican presidential nominees who have had a stricter anti-Russian rhetoric for decades. In 2012, just one and a half years before Russia annexed Crimea, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe,” and Democrat Barack Obama mocked his rival by reminding that the Cold War “has been over for 20 years.”
But this year it’s the opposite. Democrat Clinton says Russia is America’s top one adversary and says Putin is undermining U.S. democracy, while Trump has taken a more friendly attitude towards Russia.
In fact, Trump is even interested in “getting along” with Putin and described the Russian President as America’s future partner.
Trump has a point about destroying NATO?
But the problem with Trump’s rhetoric is that it perfectly aligns with Putin’s interest. It just happens that Putin couldn’t be happier to hear Trump saying that it’s the Islamic State (ISIS), not Russia, that is the most dangerous threat to the world.
It’s also music to Putin’s ears that Trump has defended Russia’s campaign in Syria against ISIS, saying that there is nothing wrong that Moscow is “bombing the hell out of ISIS and these other crazies so we don’t have to spend a million dollars a bomb.”
Most importantly, it’s Trump’s approach to NATO that makes it so favorable to Russian interests. But when the Republican candidate is saying that NATO is “obsolete” he is not only expressing his own opinion, but also the opinion of millions of people in the world.
NATO, which is nothing without America’s contribution, has been unable to counter Russia’s threat, so it must be useless, right?
Trump’s thinking is that why would the U.S., the strongest country in the world, protest tiny NATO allies like Latvia and Lithuania when they don’t even spend a sufficient amount of money on their own defense.
Why Putin loves Trump’s stance on NATO?
It wouldn’t be surprising if Trump’s presidency would eventually destroy NATO, a move that would help Putin achieve some his most desired foreign goals. Putin views NATO as a threat to Russia’s interest because the alliance constantly expands closer to Russia’s borders.
Without NATO, Putin would easily put pro-Russian dictators to rule the vulnerable neighbors like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and many others. Europe without NATO would also make it easier for Putin to annex his neighbors, just like he did with Crimea.
Basically, Trump’s presidency in 2016, intentionally or unintentionally, would inevitably lead to Russia’s Soviet-era influence in Europe, which would make Russia even bolder in its actions.
U.S.-Russia friendship is NOT a bad thing
If Trump indeed becomes U.S. President this year, the sooner he realizes that his plans to destroy NATO would allow Russia to devour America’s allies in Europe the better it is: for both him and the entire world.
Trump has previously indicated that he wants to improve U.S.-Russian relations. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If Russia and the U.S. indeed become friends, it doesn’t necessarily mean Trump would have to give up American interest to serve Russia’s interest.
There is no substantial evidence that would prove Trump is Russia’s agent or that he would be serving Russia’s interests intentionally.
There is, however, strong evidence that U.S.-Russian relations under Clinton’s presidency would take a turn to the worse, while under Trump’s presidency the countries could become less hostile to one another.