After the 1988 United States presidential election, intelligence services from behind what was then the communist “iron curtain” increased their spying on Donald Trump — a spy operation that had been going on since 1977 when he married his first wife, the former Ivana Zelníčková — believing that Trump would run for president, according to a new investigative report by the Guardian newspaper. One of the main sources for information on Trump for the spies was Trump’s own father-in-law, Miloš Zelníček.
The StB, as the Czechoslovakian secret police were known, took a strong interest in Trump, and may have been directed by or at least in coordination with the KGB — the infamous Soviet Union spy agency, according to the Guardian report, which was prepared in cooperation with the Czech Republic weekly magazine Respekt.
“Trump was of course a very interesting person for us. He was a businessman, he had a lot of contacts, even in US politics,” retired StB official Vlastimil Daněk told the two publications.
“We were focusing on him, we knew he was influential. We had information that he wanted to be president in future.”
As the Inquisitr has earlier reported, Trump has claimed that as late as 2014 he “didn’t know” that he was going to run for president. In fact, however, Trump had contemplated running for president in 1988, even making exploratory visits to New Hampshire, site of the first presidential primary election, on several occasions.
“The StB had been interested in Trump since 1977, when he married a Czechoslovakian-born woman, Ivana Zelníčková. News of the wedding reached the StB bureau in Zlín, the town in Moravia where Ivana grew up and where her parents lived. Ivana’s father, Miloš, regularly gave the StB information on his daughter’s visits from the US and his son-in-law’s burgeoning career,” The Guardian reported.
Another chief informant for the StB’s Trump operation was Jaroslav Jansa, now age 74, who was contacted by The Guardian and Respekt, only to be sent away and told by Jansa, “You are trying to put me in the tomb.”
Jansa may have been present in 1989 when Trump met with a high-level Czechoslovakian delegation at Trump Tower, including a high-ranking Communist Party official. He reported on the meeting to the StB — but the KGB was likely also interested in the information. In fact, the spying operation marked the earliest phases of what appears to be a long-running interest in Trump by the Soviet and later Russian spy agencies.
“The two spy agencies worked closely together, signing cooperation agreements in 1972 and October 1986,” the Guardian reported. “The KGB was always the dominant partner — it would have closely monitored Trump when he and Ivana visited the U.S.S.R. in summer 1987, following a Kremlin invitation.”