Former KGB Spy Says Donald Trump Was Groomed As Russian Asset Since 1980s, Narcissism Made Him Perfect Target

Russian intelligence agencies had been grooming Donald Trump since the 1980s as an asset to spread anti-Western propaganda, a former KGB spy claims.

As The Guardian reported, former Russian official Yuri Shvets claimed that the now-former president was one of many people in the west targeted by the former Soviet Union to grow into assets that would further Russia’s causes.

Shvets, who worked in Washington, D.C., with the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s, said in the book American Kompromat by journalist Craig Unger that Trump appeared on the radar for Russia after marrying his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelnickova, in 1977. The report claimed that Trump was initially the target of a spying operation from Czechoslovakia’s intelligence agency, which worked closely with Russia.

When Trump opened the Grand Hyatt New York hotel in 1980 and bought 200 television sets from an electronics store co-owned by a Soviet immigrant allegedly still working with the KGB, he was identified as a potential asset.

Shvets said that Trump was the “perfect target” in many ways, as his perceived vanity and narcissism made him very easy to bend.

“For the KGB, it was a charm offensive. They had collected a lot of information on his personality so they knew who he was personally,” he said. “The feeling was that he was extremely vulnerable intellectually, and psychologically, and he was prone to flattery.”

The real estate mogul would go on to echo sentiments that were sympathetic to Russia, including taking out full-page advertisements in major newspapers that criticized American defense policy and spoke out against NATO, the defense agreement that had long been opposed by Russia as it was seen as a check on the country’s power.

The allegations echoed some claims in a dossier compiled during the 2016 presidential race that detailed a number of contacts between members of his campaign and Russia and also claimed that Trump had long been seen as an asset for the country.

Though Trump denied all of the allegations and said that the dossier was a politically motivated attack against him, critics continued to scrutinize him for his close ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin. They accused him of failing to push back on the nation’s interference in the 2016 election and allegations that the country paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing U.S. soldiers stationed there. He was also criticized for holding a series of closed-door meetings with Putin and going to great lengths to keep the subject of the talks secret, even reportedly taking notes from an interpreter.

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