Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Says Trump Is 'Signaling' to Russia That He Wants to Lift Sanctions: 'Putin's Got a Grip on This Man'

"All those goofy remarks by Giuliani and Kellyanne Conway — they're not funny. They're deadly serious."

Photo Credit: CNN

Despite the fact that it would likely speed up the Mueller investigation, President Donald Trump is still unwilling to commit to an interview with the special counsel and continues to accuse investigators of trying to put him in a "perjury trap." But through it all, he also appears to carry with him a fear of Russian President Vladimir Putin

In conversation with Anderson Cooper on CNN Monday evening, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters highlighted just how strangely keen Trump appears to be, even after everything that has happened and all the investigations still in progress, to hold himself accountable to the Kremlin.

"I think President Trump is extremely worried, extremely worried," Peters told Cooper, "and that was even manifested in his interview with Reuters today. where he made this off the wall remark about well, he would like to lift sanctions on Russia, if a few conditions prevailed. Well, he knows at this point that he can't arbitrarily lift sanctions in Russia. Putin knows it. But I believe that our president, our president, was signaling Vladimir Putin, that, 'Hey, I'm still trying, I'm still trying.'"

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"Really, you think that's what that was?" inquired Cooper.

"There's no other explanation for it. Because he knows he can't lift the sanctions," said Peters. "I think, as I've maintained all along, Putin's got a grip on this man. Tragic for everybody. But Putin may even be losing patience. I would love to have heard what was said behind closed doors at that Helsinki meeting, but if I was betting on one thing having been said, it would be Putin telling him that we need these sanctions lifted. Because Russia is hurting economically."

And all of this, Peters said, has consequences.

"Now, we shall see what Mueller comes up with," he went on. "I cannot help but feel that, while Trump is a buffoon and many other things besides, what we often miss in the day-to-day hubub and the tomfoolery, is that this is a tragic time for our nation, for our image in the world, for our constitutional order. And so, ultimately, all those goofy remarks by Giuliani and Kellyanne Conway they're not funny. They're deadly serious."

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Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.