Watch a Former CIA Director Say Russia May 'Have Something' on Trump

Former CIA director John Brennan warned the nation Wednesday that President Donald Trump is afraid of Russia, possibly because the Kremlin may have blackmail material on him.

Brennan made the remarks on MSNBC's Morning Joe when panelist Willie Geist asked why Trump won't confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I think he's afraid of the president of Russia," Brennan speculated. "The Russians may have something on him personally, that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult."

He noted that improving relations with Russia could theoretically be a good thing, but added, "The fact that he has had this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin, has not said anything negative about him, continues to say to me that he does have something to fear, something very serious to fear."

He added: "I am concerned about our future and our national security."

These comments appear to be an allusion to Christopher Steele's dossier, the raw intelligence document that was created by a former British intelligence officer funded as opposition research against the president during the 2016 campaign. The dossier has become infamous for its reference to a sexually explicit recording of Trump that the Russian government took to blackmail the president during the 2013 Moscow Miss Universe pageant. 

But as far as blackmail material goes, this is only one possibility, and perhaps one of the least damaging; after all, Trump's support hardly seems affected by the credible story of a hush money payment to make an affair with a porn star go away.

The dossier alleges a years-long relationship between the president and Russia, any evidence of which could be potent blackmail material. Beyond the dossier's allegations, though, there are any number of business deals, crimes or financial frauds of which the Kremlin could have knowledge that could damage the president.

Even more troubling is the possibility that Russia may have compromising material about Trump's actions as president. This is one of the problems with blackmail—once someone has been compromised, any actions they take in response to that blackmail can serve as even greater leverage over them.

If Trump has been selling out American interests to the Russians—like giving them classified intelligence about our allies—he would have very good reason to fear Putin.

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.