The KGB spent 40 years preparing Donald Trump to serve its interests in the United States. The latter proved so eager to reproduce anti-Western propaganda that there were στη celebrations of their success in Moscow, a former KGB spy told the Guardian.
Yuri Svets, who was a Soviet agent in Washington during the 1980s, compares the former US president to the “Cambridge Five”, the finger of Soviet spies in Britain leaking state secrets to Moscow during the Second World War. War but also in the first years of the Cold War.
Svets, now 67, was one of the main sources of the American Kompromat, the new book by journalist Craig Unger, author of House of Trump and House of Putin. The book also explores the former president's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and pedophile circuits.
“This is one of the cases in which people are recruited from the time they are just students and then are promoted to important positions. “Something like that happened to Trump,” Svets told the Guardian by telephone from his home in Virginia.
Svets, who held a prominent position in the KGB, pretended to be a correspondent for the Russian news agency Tass in Washington during the 1980s. In 1993, he immigrated permanently to the United States and became a US citizen. He currently works as a business security investigator and has worked with Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006.
Unger describes how Trump first entered the Russian radar in 1977, when he married his first wife, Ivana Zelnikova, a model from the Czech Republic. Trump became the target of a spy operation under the supervision of the Czechoslovak intelligence service in cooperation with the KGB.
Three years later, Trump opened his first big business, the Grand Hyatt New York. He then bought 200 TVs to equip it from Semyon Kislin, a Soviet immigrant and co-owner of an electronics company on Fifth Avenue.
According to Svets, the company was controlled by the KGB and Kislin's job was to identify potentially useful Americans. He soon recognized that Trump, a young and up-and-coming businessman, could prove valuable. Kislin himself denies any connection to the KGB.
Then in 1987, Trump and Ivana visited Moscow and St. Petersburg for the first time. Svets claims that he was fed up with KGB arguments there, while service officials flattered him and put in mind the idea of engaging in politics.
The former agent recalls: “For the KGB it was an attack through charm. They gathered a lot of information about his personality, so they knew what a man he was. “They felt extremely vulnerable mentally and psychologically and prone to flattery.”
“It simply came to our notice then. They played their game and pretended to be deeply impressed by his personality and believed that this guy should become president of the United States at some point. He was told that people like him could change the world. He was fed up with specific arguments and so it happened. “It was a great achievement for the KGB at that time.”
Shortly after his return to the United States, Trump began exploring the possibility of running for president with the Republican Party. He even held a rally in New Hampshire. On September 1, he ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe entitled “None of the problems of US foreign policy can be solved with a little tea.”
The ad contained some deeply unorthodox views on Ronald Reagan's Cold War America, accusing ally Japan of exploiting the United States and expressing skepticism about US involvement in NATO. It was also in the form of an open letter to the Americans “for the reasons that America should stop paying for the defense of states that have the financial capacity to defend themselves.”
His strange involvement caused surprise and joy in Russia. A few days later, Svets, who had now returned to his country, was at the KGB headquarters in Yasenevo when he received a telegram welcoming the advertisement as a successful action carried out by the new “KGB acquisition”.
“It was an unprecedented event. I am well aware of the actions of the KGB from the early 1970s to the 1980s and then the corresponding actions of Russia. But I have not heard anything like this or anything like that – until Trump becomes president – because it was just stupid. “It was hard to believe that someone would publish something like this under his own name and that he would be able to influence real, serious people in the West, but he did, and eventually this guy became president,” Svets told the Guardian.
Trump's 2016 election victory also won Russian praise. Special Adviser Robert Miller has failed to prove the existence of a conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. But the so-called Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for Action on American Progress, found that Trump and his team had at least 272 known contacts and at least 38 known meetings with Russian officials.
Svets, who conducted his own research, told the Guardian: “For me, the Miller report was a big disappointment because people thought it would be a thorough investigation into all of Trump's ties to Moscow, when in fact it was all about an investigation into criminal offenses. “He did not deal with the espionage aspect of the Trump-Russia relationship.”
He adds: “Essentially, this is what we decided to correct. That's why I did my research and then I worked with Craig. We therefore believe that the book will continue where Miller left off. “
“It was an acquisition,” Unger, author of seven books and former editor of Vanity Fair magazine, said of Trump. It was not a grandiose, genius plan to cultivate Trump and make him president after 40 years. “When it started, around 1980, the Russians were trying to recruit as many as they could, chasing dozens of people.”
“Trump was the perfect target in many ways. His vanity and narcissism made him a natural target for recruitment. They formed him for 40 years, until the elections “.