Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shake hands

Leaked Kremlin Papers Show Just How Important It Was To Russia That Trump Become President

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For years, we’ve known that Russian forces played a major hand in screwing over our entire country via the 2016 presidential election. That neverending saga continues with new leaked Kremlin documents detailing a January 2016 meeting of Russia’s national security council, during which it was decided that they would use “all possible force” to put Trump in the White House.

“They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position,” writes The GuardianTrump’s election would be Russia’s best “theoretical political scenario” as they predicted it “will definitely lead to the destabilization of the US’s sociopolitical system,” exploit the  “deepening political gulf between left and right,” and bring hidden resentments to the surface.

Yup, they were pretty spot-on.

The document also includes a short psychological assessment of Trump, describing him as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex.”

None of this is really new information (including that armchair diagnosis). We knew that Russian operatives used all sorts of tactics—especially online and most especially on Facebook—to sow discord and turn Americans against each other, and we know that it worked devastatingly well. Still, there’s a lot of important stuff here.

First, the leak itself is, as The Guardian puts it, “serious and highly unusual.” Although, it should be noted that, as The Daily Beast writes, “The Guardian has not definitively proven it the be authentic. However, it has quoted experts on Russian spy agencies and Kremlin diplomacy who say they have no reason to doubt that the document is genuine. Some previous media allegations based on intelligence reports have ultimately proven to be wrong.”

If it is authentic, the biggest bombshell is that the Kremlin reportedly has compromising information (kompromat) on Trump, and has since before the election. Trump has repeatedly denied the existence of any sort of kompromat—remember the whole “pee tape” debacle? If you’d somehow forgotten, I’m truly sorry to have to remind you—but he was never exactly convincing. The documents say that kompromat was collected during Trump’s “non-official visits to Russian Federation territory.”

We do know that Trump visited Moscow multiple times before he became president. “The paper refers to ‘certain events’ that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow,” writes The Guardian, although there are no actual details as to what that kompromat entails.Security council members are invited to find details in appendix five, at paragraph five, the document states. It is unclear what the appendix contains.”

Trump did not respond to The Guardian’s request for comment. The Kremlin called it “a great pulp fiction.”

It’s hard to say exactly what all of this means in the long run except that we as a country got played hard. Which, again, we already knew, didn’t we?

(via The Guardian, image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.