It is a good rule that if Donald Trump hates somebody, that person is probably a hero of some sort. Maybe they were a prisoner of war, maybe they died for their country, or maybe they're Peter Strzok, the former FBI agent who led the investigations into Hillary Clinton's dumb Hotmail account, and also the "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation into the Trump campaign's various collusions with the Russians to steal the 2016 election.

Strzok has a new book out, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, and guess what? He still appears to think Donald Trump just might maybe be a fucking Russian intelligence asset. At the very least, he sees Trump as a "counterintelligence threat," as the title of his book says out loud. And he would know, because he knows what to look for.

Trump wants you to think the only thing Peter Strzok is good at is sexting with his lady lover about doing Deep State coups to prevent Trump from stealing elections. But no, he is more than that! Strzok was also a big part of the investigation into the "illegals," AKA Russian spies who embed deeply into American culture with fake identities, life stories, and American accents. You know, the mom 'n' pop spies next door, like on the TV show "The Americans." The Obama administration nabbed a fuckton of them in 2010. Point is, Strzok has been doing the work for a long time. We have always thought that's why he was particularly dangerous to Trump, and why Trump, Fox News, and congressional Republicans decided to destroy him.

Strzok is doing the interview circuit, and book excerpts are coming out, and they all deserve your time. It's especially important right now as we head toward the November 3 election, especially armed with the knowledge that the FBI and the Mueller team, thanks to former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, apparently never even bothered to do a counterintelligence investigation into whether or not Donald Trump is a fucking Russian intelligence asset.


Strzok seems particularly worried about that possibility. He tells Politico that if they had, we would have seen "litigation and screaming from Trump," since it would have involved following the money. "And the absence of that makes me think it didn't occur," says Strzok.

Anne Applebaum sets up her discussion with Strzok at The Atlantic (all bolding is ours):

He does not believe that Trump's true relationship with Russia was ever revealed, and he now worries that it won't ever be. It's not clear that anyone ever followed up on the leads he had, or completed the counterintelligence investigation he began. He doesn't say this himself, but after speaking with him I began to wonder if this is the real reason the Department of Justice broke with precedent in his case by not just firing a well-respected FBI agent but publicly discrediting him too: Strzok was getting too close to the truth.

As Strzok writes in his book, the FBI investigation into Trump was finding "too much smoke" for there not to be fire. "And the closer we got to the Oval Office, the stronger the smell seemed to become."

Here is Strzok's very long answer to Applebaum about just exactly how and why he thinks Trump is compromised by Russia:

STRZOK: In counterintelligence, when we say somebody is "compromised," that doesn't necessarily mean they are a Manchurian candidate or a spy who has been wittingly recruited. I don't think that Trump, when he meets with Putin, receives a task list for the next quarter. [OR DOES HE? -- Ed.] But I do think the president is compromised, that he is unable to put the interests of our nation first, that he acts from hidden motives, because there is leverage over him, held specifically by the Russians but potentially others as well. For example, when he is on the campaign trail saying I have no financial relationships with Russia, while at the very same time, his lawyer Michael Cohen is in Moscow negotiating a deal for a Trump Tower, there are people who know that. Vladimir Putin knows that. As it happened, the FBI knew it. But nobody in the American public knew it. So the moment that he says it, everybody who knows about that lie has leverage over him.

But that one incident is part of a pervasive pattern of conduct. Look at Trump's failure to disclose his taxes, look at the story of his telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Time and time again, Trump is fighting tooth and nail to avoid things becoming public. If you're a foreign intelligence service and you are able to use all of your tools to collect information—to intercept emails, intercept phone calls, recruit people or place people in the president's orbit who can supply information—you are going to find out about the things that Trump is trying so hard to conceal because they would be damaging to him. That gives you coercive leverage. And that begins to explain why he has time and time again done these inexplicable things that have no positive outcome for U.S. national interests.

APPLEBAUM: For example?

STRZOK: Like, for example, why did he not take stronger action against the Russians for placing bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan? Why has he, for no apparent reason, moved 11,000 American troops out of Germany? Or here's an obscure one: Why did he parrot Russian propaganda and call Montenegro a "very aggressive" nation when that country had just joined NATO? Everybody knows damn well that Donald Trump couldn't find Montenegro on a map. Who's putting these ideas in his head?

Questions we've been asking at Wonkette for a long-ass time. Why doesn't Trump care about the Russian bounties on American troops' heads in Afghanistan, besides how Trump obviously hates the troops? Why is he giving Putin such a gift by pulling American troops out of Germany, besides how he is an idiot who doesn't understand how NATO works? And fucking seriously, what was that shit with Montenegro? We ticked through these and many other things Trump inexplicably says, does and thinks, all of which cater directly to the whims of one Vladimir Putin, in this post right here.

STRZOK: Because in the worst case, we knew we were facing the prospect that the candidate of a major party for the presidency of the United States is in a witting intelligence relationship with a hostile foreign power, and that's horrifying. For anybody, it should be horrifying; for counterintelligence professionals, that's unprecedented. Simply the fact that we couldn't eliminate that possibility was horrifying.

And he still hasn't eliminated that possibility.

So of course, they leaked Strzok's text messages, got him fired from Robert Mueller's team, and then ended his career, for which he is suing the FBI and the Department of Justice. He told Applebaum that the attacks on him — and the harassment and death threats they've led to, which continue to this day — have been "chilling," not just for him personally, but for the many men and women still working inside the Trump administration who want to do the right thing. (That's, of course, the point, in authoritarian regimes like the Trump administration.)

There's so much more in Applebaum's interview, so do read it all. For instance, Strzok confirmed to her that no, Michael Flynn was not FRAAAAAAAMED, they gave him multiple opportunities to "remember" the truth, instead of just being a liarfuckingliar about his secret dealings with the Russians. In a Politico article, Strzok shared some insight as to why the Flynn investigation was so important, despite Attorney General Bill Barr's rambling protests that there was no legitimate reason to investigate Flynn at that point:

In the "worst case, and we still haven't eliminated this possibility," he said, "Flynn didn't tell us the truth because he was covering for Trump. So the question was not just did he lie — it was, did he lie because he was covering for the president of the United States, who had made a deal with the Russians to help get elected? We couldn't be certain that this was Flynn acting on his own."

On another subject, this excerpt from Strzok's book shared by NPR, about why Paul Manafort was passing multitudes of secret Trump campaign Rust Belt polling data to a literal Russian SPYFUCKINGSPY, jumped out at us, especially after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's damning report on the Trump campaign's collusion with Russians:

"There are few, if any, innocuous reasons for [Konstantin] Kilimnik's interest in the polling data — it is far too detailed to serve as a simple display of the strength of the campaign. But it would provide a boon to someone who wanted to know where key voting blocs were, where winning over voters would provide the strongest belief in the race for Electoral College delegates. Someone like Russian government intelligence officers, who were beginning to place advertisements and targeted posts in U.S. social media."

Indeed, how did the Russians know to target women and Black voters for suppression in those Rust Belt states where Trump "won" by a combined 70,000 votes? And how odd is it that they were so specifically targeting the same people the Trump campaign was targeting for suppression, in a campaign where the internals showed the only path to victory was just that exact inside straight in the Rust Belt?

As Strzok says, he's worried we'll never find the answers.

Maybe President Biden's Truth-But-Not-Reconciliation Commission can find out. Just gotta get the compromised motherfucker out of there first.

[The Atlantic / NPR / Politico]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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