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Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent

The level of absurdity in US politics has now reached such vertigo inducing levels as to render all manner of things permissible. Contact with the unwashed implies collaboration; discussion with the enemy implies assent. To go to a dinner party with a perceived hostile force in the context of business of diplomacy has become a child’s condemnation of misplaced loyalties. Yet everyday, thousands of engagements are made between powers and interests where nothing other than a hello is exchanged, or a pleasantry. Perhaps the more relevant question to ask here is that businessmen and women in power suggest the limits of the nation state and representation: to what extent can such figures claim to be legitimate as figure who think outside the logic of money and finance?

In the impoverished, manic era of Donald Trump, the accusers have mimicked the man they wish to destroy. Mimicry replaces originality; the copycat cat reigns with derivative accusation and complaint. It is with ironic semblance that the individuals accuse him of mendacity, a dislike of evidence, and an aversion to the record, should be happy to throw all convention out as they take ring seats in speculation. Trump, the spy, the man of treason, the sell-out, runs the stables of the addled and confused.

CNN was particularly busy on this dithering foolishness, demonstrating yet again that newfangled point that no news is worthy unless it can be made into a confection of some heft. The president demands this because of his character, the sensationalist figure, the man of game shows and the reality television persona. He must be sensationalised.

Such theatre leads to such levels of gabbing as to be moronic. The president might be a Russian agent, because the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation in 2017 on Trump. Pause for laughter. The President was investigated by that glorious agency of record, the FBI, for suspected links. Pause for befuddlement. The Washington Post then ran a story claiming that Trump had gone to extensive lengths to conceal, even from his own aides, his interactions with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Tax payers’ funds, it seems, are being used for the most notable of ends.

Wired was similarly speculating along such lines, with a twist: Trump’s actions had been “pro-Putin, pro-Russia, anti-FBI, anti-intelligence community”; he had lied and engaged in obfuscation around Russian meetings and conversations; he must be hiding a “massive conspiracy”. Better that he be a Russian agent than the alternative, which was supposedly worse: a figure oblivious to geopolitics, self-centred, insecure, anti-democratic and a terrible manager.

Interesting here is how such a view is oblivious to remembering other US presidents whose anti-democratic, oblivious, self-centred tendencies were as developed, if not worse than a businessman turned populist. But such views are cured in the vinegar and salt of intense prejudice and presumption: the enemy is in Moscow, and must be condemned. Better this be done than understanding Trump’s erring and bumbling as a product of a true US capitalist; he is seen as an American gone bad, an anti-patriot.

Donah Goldberg of the Boston Globe tweaks the approach on the spy conspiracy theory – slightly. “When was the last time a popular and contentious conspiracy theory turned out to be true? Not a little true, but, like, really true?” Think of Whittaker Chambers and his outing of Alger Hiss for being a Soviet spy. He dismisses the views of Jerome Corsi, shooting bolts of manic persuasion from Infowars, claiming that the president is a target of the Deep State, including its emissaries, the CIA and NSA, determined to unseat him. But Corsi’s comments should be taken in the broader readings of antipathy against Trump which have legitimised the most extreme approaches to unseating and overthrowing an elected figure. No one in high office is suggesting a grand assassination or beheading, but not a day goes by without some casual articulation of symbolic regicide. Trump must go, so goes the narrative.

We were told about the unprecedented nature of things, always a danger. We are being fed an inverted pyramid of Cold War dregs. Trump might be, hazards the Wired piece, the “useful idiot,” an expression purposely used by the communists who used co-option without knowledge as an ingredient of unwitting recruitment.

Easily, then, we can presume utterances to have the steel of proof. The US voter is sidestepped and dismissed – after all, accordingto Clinton family associate and former Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, Russia’s conduct in 2016 breached “the firewall of American democracy” and influenced “a high-stakes presidential election.” (The poorly concealed barb here is that Talbott doesn’t like the outcomes that might arise from democratic conduct, presuming a hidden hand if his friends fail to make the electoral grade.)

Ironically enough, the United States is witnessing the tendencies it has encouraged, for decades, in other states: foster local indignation, suspicion and paranoia, and unleash them against the leader of the day. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was known to have said, the democratic choice of a people would have to be corrected in certain circumstances, if in the interest of the US. The same rules apply, as do the same interests.

The one person who can truly toast to hearty merriment at this entire unfolding farce of column wasting and derangement is Vladimir Putin. The Russian president commands as much free publicity in the United States as he does in so-called friendly states. Then again, so does Trump, a man who would cease to exist without the twenty-four hour scheme of exposure, discussion and spurting. To speak and propose is to give oxygen to the phenomenon.

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  1. Jill Lyall

    Easy enough to see Trump and Putin as being in cahoots as two oligarchs with ambitions of world domination and obscene personal wealth – why not? It adds up.

  2. mark delmege

    No it’s not Jill. Its rubbish. Its a lie perpetrated by those who you should consider the enemy. Its pushed by those who supported Hillary and the Wall street backers in the Democrat party. Its pushed by the war heads in the military and security complex. That the right wing Democrats and their backers in the media push this crap should tell you something about the state of the world and the state of identity politics and even about the pathetic state of the media – and in particular their followers at the ABC in Australia . They’ve reduced your thinking capacity down to ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’.

  3. New England Cocky

    There is a Russian in the White House and her name is Ivanka Trumpery.

  4. John

    Perhaps, maybe it has more to do with sources of finance for his life long GRIFTING activities that the Golden Golem of Greatness has been forced to use, because none of the “respectable” mainstream banks will do business with him.
    Sources of finance with (perhaps) either indirect or very direct connections with the Russian Mob – as in mafia. As such he can be easily blackmailed.

  5. John

    A bit off topic but in my opinion the best critique of what the Golden Golem is actually doing is provided in the book by Michael Lewis titled The Fifth Risk. I have read several reviews of it. There is one in todays Fairfax Spectrum by Dennis Altman titled How Trump’s Attitude To Government Spelt Danger From The Beginning.
    Has anyone ever read the book by Tony Judt titled ill Fares The Land?
    Well using that book as a bench bark everything described in it is now going to be turbo-charged.

    Also check out the book titled Its Even Worse Than You Think

  6. paul walter

    Some sympathy for Mark Delmege, to have the finished jigsaw puzzle you must put ALL the pieces in place.

    My abiding memory of 2016 is Trump setting Hillary up for accusations of collusion with, you remember? – the Russians!

    No doubt in my mind Trump HAS colluded with the Russians, but he would not even be conscious of this as treasonous.
    For him, it is just business, it trumps all ( ‘scuse I !!) and the means justify the end. Patriotism is just another word symbolising some hurdle to overcome, in his pomo world. To him, it would be ok to sell your mother on the streets, provided the reasons were business reasons.

    As for Putin- a rat. But to some extent the world and its realities have also made him one, as it did the mafiosi of the twentieth century.

  7. mark delmege

    ‘No doubt in my mind Trump HAS colluded with the Russians’ really? How so. Give me something credible paul walter.

  8. Terence Mills

    If Trump is the Manchurian candidate sponsored by the Kremlin they must be very pleased with their boy.

    He hasn’t completely destroyed American democracy but shutting down the government is a good start.

  9. Josephus

    Who knows who is fooling whom? Trump contradicts himself daily. If he was being manipulated by some puppet a la the nutters who believed in the spurious Protocol of the Elders of Zion for example, he would at least be consistent. He is a bumbling fool. Maybe he was pursuing a Trump Tower in Moscow, but that just indicates vulgarity and greed, not treason.

  10. Josephus

    PS Ivanka is Slovenian.

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