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There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?

There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?

Thom Hartmann

There are three general theories to explain Trump’s behavior toward Russia (and other hard-right broadly autocratic regimes), and for unknown reasons the two most likely ones are almost entirely absent from our electronic media. The three theories, in ascending order of likelihood, are:

  1. The Manchurian Candidate: He’s being blackmailed or has been a Russian asset for years.

  2. The Wannabe Dictator: He believes that countries should be run like companies—essentially autocracies.


Good article. I personally support explanation #2 myself, but #3 is very credible too. No. 1 is nonsense - a relic of cold war red-under-the-bed thinking.

The quiet power of the global Russian billionaire cosa nostra with its deep entanglement in the Putin government’s (Putin himself being among the top 10 richest persons on earth) global economic ambitions, is not getting the attention it deserves.


What are you talking about? Of course Trump can identify Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. He met them when he met Frederick Douglass!


I published this elsewhere online today, but it fits:

Oh, the Irony! “Clean the Swamp” Trumpublicans are ok with million$$$ of Russian dollars flowing through their sacred NRA into right wing campaigns. Never thought I’d live to see the day.

And as it turns out, within days of Trump’s secret meeting with Vlad, Republicans fixed it so we will never know where and from whom all those Billion$ are coming. I’m guessing McConnell and all the rest including the SCOTUS are in on the fix.

What a Country!!!


Whatever the reason, whither it is one of the three main likelihoods or a combination, Trump sure seems to be acting on behalf of the Russian government. As someone said, it is sort of if after the attack on Pearl Harbor it was claimed by FDR that that attack may have been carried out by the Japanese or maybe another country. Our military says it was the Japanese but the Japanese government strongly says it wasn’t them and why would the Japanese do it. And what should we except from a president who lies constantly and refuses to acknowledge all the evidence for climate change and is pushing for greater fossil fuel production?


I’ll pick Door Number Three. What truly wealthy person would ever have stooped to the level of “reality” TV? I felt that way from the first commercial I saw for his show. Don’t ask me to predict similar up-and-coming charlatans, as I have not watched the glow box in about twelve years.


This is more about what Thom just said on his radio/tv show which he thinks deals can be made to get rid of Trump by not impeaching/or jail time if he resigns like what was done to Nixon.

That is a major problem in the US, NO Accountability for anything a politicians does and we’ve maybe much of the corruption legal. It is just as important as alll the dark money out there being legal which will include foreign money coming, we will never know.

We need frickin accountability, jail time to dissuade these people from further corruption and wrong doings. Corporations just use a line item in their budgets for all the fines they do. Probably some of reason they can’t afford to pay better wages.

Accountability please Thom. The media again needs to be held accountable and work in public interests.


What is all the more aggravating is that NONE of this is breaking news. Every one of the oligarchs, people in power, the media and any voter not in a coma have known about Trump for years. He’s left a trail of slime, decades long. That such a man can come to power in the White House says volumes about how diseased and rotten our political system truly is and how hopelessly dysfunctional it has become. It’s now little more than a board game for the rich; it’s reality TV show called Battle of the Billionaires. And even as the ship sinks, many cling to the gospel of working though this filthy mess of a system for change, dutifully paying lip service to a democracy that is now a fantasy. How’s working through the system doing for ya, folks? Around and around we go.


An ex- president of the United States , now broke and homeless tries to survive on the streets of New York City.
That’s the kind of reality show I would love to watch.
“In tonight’s show, Donald is caught dumpster diving at McDonalds”.


How about this for a theory: Trump is doing all he can to separate Russia from Iran and Syria for all the obvious reasons.

  1. Russia is the second greatest nuclear power and making peace with them is better than going to war.

Well, judging from the destruction being done by all his appointees and the bankrupting of the Treasury, his “business” model based on his own history of debt for “running”–ruining–the nation is no recommendation.


This has nothing to do with peace. The two countries are not on the verge of war either.


Chomsky on nuclear war:


Dear Thomas Hart:
I have a # 4 possibility and it has to do with family. It’s been said that the older brother that died of being an alcohol set the stage. Daddy Trump was said to have hated weak people and weak people were all the people without money, i.e. power. Donald was said to be affected by this and also became a bully early on. I always think of screaming men as being very afraid—of something.

Then when Donald became the new number 1 son due to death of original #1, I think that his path was set and he followed dad into the scary jungle of screaming as a means of communication and belittling in oder to appear to be right , as that’s in there too.

In spite of his fails, Donald chose the “act as if,” way and was able to get fans and browbeat people into doing what he wanted-----or doing something just to be doing like suddenly taking over the pages with the WILDING
incident in NY city.

Then he meets Putin, who is a small guy and Trump is impressed that this small guy doesn’t yell and scream -------he just endures the crap and it gets done. Tall guys don’t get this… it’s like Comey was saying he was taller than Trump, yeah and Come seemed really proud of that. Oh well. : )

So Trump sees a small guy ( Putin) that is able to get stuff done without being tall and pushy! Putin has money, and power and he’s not tall nor does he scream—and yet, he wins. I think that other than the screaming Daddy, who else has Trump ever modeled on? I actually think it’s more admiration in that Donald sees a small guy with not a lot of hair ( and he doesn’t seem to care) I think things like that really impress Donald. It’s a whole different world for Donald than the screaming threatening one where he grew up where he felt he had to be surprising people all the time— to keep them off balance and easier to control–

I think that Donald is just amazed and impressed to see what Putin is and all that he has done as a small guy losing his hair, who doesn’t seem to be focused on being taller than every one like Comey : ).
So That’s my view Thomas Hart. : )


You might feel very different if things were in reverse. Imagine this:

A lot of ethnic Americans live in Baja California and across the Sea of Cortez, are actually citizens of Mexico, and form the majority in Baja and Sonora. A few years ago Russia orchestrated a coup in Mexico and put in place a government that is very anti-USA and immediately Nazi militias associate with the new government began attacking the ethnic Americans in Sonora and Baja. Russia now has ‘trainers’ in Mexico to teach them how to fight the Americans and is sending arms to Mexico.

Meanwhile, Canada has joined a Russian military alliance and Russia and the other members of it do these big war games in the Bay of Fundy and the waters to its south- ie right off the coast of New England.

Plus, down in Columbia there are a group of crazed terrorists holding to a rabid Fundamentalistic Mormonism who are attempting to overthrow the secular Columbian government. Add to this that a few years ago similar Mormon Fundamentalists declared themselves independent of the USA in southern Idaho and northern Utah, attacking the state governments first until the Feds came in and stopped them. These terrorists down in Columbia have made it clear that their next step is to fund their ‘brothers’ in Utah and Idaho. They also will kick the US out of its major naval base on the Caribbean (we’ll assume in this mental exercise there’s no Guantanamo.) It turns out that Russia now has troops in Columbia and is arming the terrorists and has made it clear that they want the secular government overthrown.

Finally, Russia has set up military bases across Canada and Mexico, in the Bahamas and Bermuda, and they have set up nuclear missiles there.

Meanwhile the Russian press and politicians are making all these horrid anti-American charges continually and saying “The US is at War with Us,” “It’s Another Barbarossa Invasion,” and “It’s like Napoleon all Over Again.”

Would you still assert, “Oh, these countries aren’t on the verge of war?”


Like I said. They are not on the verge of war. They do have out of control military spending that needs to be reigned in.

Where is the part about the US carrying out cyber attacks against Russia in your hypothetical. That is where this press hysteria is coming from. Not about reclaiming Crimea for the Ukraine.
These two countries are not on the verge of war.

Congrats–you have me beat by 7 years, but I wish you didn’t.

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In my hypothetical the alleged hacks were all in Russia’s press as they attacked the US as being attacks like versions of the Nazi’s invading in Operation Barbarossa or Napoleon in the War of 1812, just like here everyone says that leaking emails to Wikileaks is the same thing as Pearl Harbor and 9/11.