On 1/10/16 BuzzFeed News published a controversial document which details some of the republican President-elect Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia but which hasn’t been fully vetted for accuracy. But the data appears to have some significance as a copy was delivered to President Barack Obama, the President-elect Trump and eight U.S. House members. However on 1/11/17, several news outlets reported that the document in question was marked “Disinformation.”
BuzzFeed had made public the full document so that Americans could make up their own minds about allegations against the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
What caught my attention regarding this document, were paragraphs on page 7 and page 8 regarding Ukraine which is as follows:
1.) Speaking in confidence to a compatriot in late July 2016, Source E, an ethnic Russian close associate of republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump admitted there was a well developed conspiracy of cooperation between them and Russian leadership. This was managed on Trump side by the republican candidate’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who was using foreign policy advisor Carter Page and others as intermediaries. The two sides had a mutual interest in defeating democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton whom President Putin apparently, both hated and feared.
2.) “Inter alia, Source E acknowledged that the Russian regime had been behind the recent leaks of embarrassing e-mail messages emanating from DNC to WikiLeaks platform.”
“In return, the Trump team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/ NATO defense commitments in the Baltic and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for Putin who needed to cauterize the subject.”
In summary, if the allegations were proven to be true, it would mean that the president -elect and his team were prepared to alter the U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia in return for the Russian’s assistance in garnering information about the democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. This could explain why in July 2016, Mr. Trump’s surrogates worked hard to have current U.S. policy towards Ukraine deleted from the republican party platform.
Here are excerpts from Josh Rogan’s 7/18/16 Washington Post article, “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine:”
“The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.”
“Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.”
“Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.”
Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military.:
“Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,” the amendment read. “The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.”
“Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened. By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language.”
“On the sideline, Denman tried to persuade the Trump staffers not to change the language, but failed. “I was troubled when they put aside my amendment and then watered it down,” Denman told me. “I said, ‘What is your problem with a country that wants to remain free?’ It seems like a simple thing.”
“Finally, Trump staffers wrote an amendment to Denman’s amendment that stripped out the platform’s call for “providing lethal defensive weapons” and replaced it with softer language calling for “appropriate assistance.”
“That amendment was voted on and passed. When the Republican Party releases its platform Monday, the official Republican party position on arms for Ukraine will be at odds with almost all the party’s national security leaders.”
“For (President-elect Donald) Trump, the biggest threat to Europe is not Russia, according to people familiar with his thinking. He believes the United States should focus on helping Europe fight Islamist terrorism and open borders, not confronting Putin. He has called for a reduction of the U.S. commitment to NATO. He simply doesn’t see Russia as a dangerous threat.
UPDATE ON 1/11/17: The intelligence community had marked the 1/10/17 BuzzFeed published document as “Disinformation.”