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NotMyPresident @ironstowe
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How #Trump became a #Soviet/#Russian Agent
1. #Trump's first known visit to #Soviet and #Moscow in 1987 looks to be part of a pattern. The #SteeleDossier says that the #Kremlin had been cultivating# Trump for “at least five years” before 2016 elections, meaning it asserts a beginning in 2011 or 2012.
2.The #SovietUnion was interested in #Trump three decades earlier. The top level of the #Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 #Moscow visit.
3.With assistance from the #KGB. It took place while #Kryuchkov was seeking to improve the #KGB's operational techniques #Soviet spy chief wanted #KGB staff abroad to recruit more #Americans.
4.#Kryuchkov sent out a series of classified memos to #KGB heads of station. Oleg Gordievsky copied them and passed them to #British intelligence. He later co-published them with the historian Christopher Andrew under the title Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations 1975–1985
5. In January 1984 #Kryuchkov addressed the problem during a biannual review held in #Moscow, and at a special conference six months later. The urgent subject: how to improve agent recruitment.
6. #Kryuchov wanted them to be more creative Previously they had relied on leftists, trade unionists and so on. By the mid-1980s these were not so many. So #KGB officers should “make bolder use of material incentives”: money. And use flattery, an important tool.
7.The Center, as #KGB headquarters was known, was especially concerned about its lack of success in recruiting #USA citizens,
8.The PR Line—that is, the Political Intelligence Department stationed in #KGB residencies abroad—was given explicit instructions to find “#USA. targets to cultivate .“The main effort must be concentrated on acquiring valuable agents,” #Kryuchkov said.
9.The memo—dated February 1, 1984—was to be destroyed as soon as its contents had been read. It said that despite improvements in “information gathering,” the #KGB “has not had great success in operation against the main adversary #America
10. One solution was to make wider use of “the facilities of friendly intelligence services”—for example, #Czechoslovakian or #EastGerman spy networks.
11.“Further improvement in operational work with agents calls for fuller and wider utilisation of confidential and special unofficial contacts.
12.These should be acquired chiefly among prominent figures in politics and society, and important representatives of business and science.These should not only “supply valuable information” but also “actively influence” a country’s foreign policy to the advantage of #SovietUnion
13.#KGB also distributed a secret personality questionnaire, advising case officers what to look for in a successful recruitment operation. In April 1985 this was updated for “prominent figures in the West.”
14.The directorate’s aim was to draw the target “into some form of collaboration with us.” This could be “as an agent, or confidential or special or unofficial contact.”
15.The form demanded basic details—name, profession, family situation, and material circumstances. There were other questions, too: what was the likelihood that the “subject could come to power (occupy the post of president or prime minister)”?
16.And an assessment of personality. For example: “Are pride, arrogance, egoism, ambition or vanity among subject’s natural characteristics?”
17.The most revealing section concerned #kompromat. The document asked for: “Compromising information about subject, including illegal acts in financial and commercial affairs, intrigues, speculation, bribes, graft … and exploitation of his position to enrich himself.”
18 .Plus “any other information” that would compromise the subject before “the country’s authorities and the general public.” Naturally the #KGB could exploit this by threatening “disclosure.”
19.Finally, “his attitude towards women is also of interest.” The document wanted to know: “Is he in the habit of having affairs with women on the side?”
20.When did the #KGB open a file on #Trump? Perhaps as early as 1977. That was the year when #Trump married #Ivana Zelnickova, a twenty-eight-year-old model from #Czechoslovakia.
21.Zelnickova was a citizen of a communist country. She was therefore of interest both to the #Czech intelligence service, the #StB, and to the #FBI and #CIA.
22.During the Cold War, #Czech spies were known for their professionalism. #Czech and #Hungarian officers were typically used in espionage actions abroad, especially in the #UnitedStates and #LatinAmerica. They were less obvious than #Soviet operatives sent by #Moscow.
23.Zelnickova was born in Zlin, Her first marriage was to an #Austrian real estate agent. In the early 1970s she moved to #Canada, first to #Toronto and then to #Montreal, to be with a ski instructor boyfriend.
24.Exiting #Czechoslovakia during this period was, the files said, “incredibly difficult.” Zelnickova moved to #NewYork. In April 1977 she married #Trump.
25.According to files in #Prague, declassified in 2016, #Czech spies kept a close eye on the couple in #Manhattan. The agents who undertook this task were code-named Al Jarza and Lubos.
26.They opened letters sent home by #Ivana to her father, Milos, an engineer. Milos was never an agent or asset. But he had a functional relationship with the #Czech secret police, who would ask him how his daughter was doing abroad and in return permit her visits home.
27.There was periodic surveillance of the #Trump family in the #UnitedStates. And when #Ivana and #DonaldTrumpJr., visited Milos in the #Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, further spying, or “cover.”
28 .Like with other Eastern Bloc agencies, #Czechs would have shared their intelligence product with their counterparts in #Moscow, the #KGB. #Trump may have been of interest for several reasons.
29. One, his wife came from Eastern Europe. Two—at a time after 1984 when the #Kremlin was experimenting with perestroika, or Communist Party reform—#Trump had a prominent profile as a real estate developer and tycoon.
30. According to the #Czech files, #Ivana mentioned #Trump´s growing interest in politics. Might #Trump at some stage consider a political career?
31.#KGB wouldn’t invite someone to #Moscow out of altruism. Dignitaries flown to the #USSR on expenses-paid trips were typically left-leaning writers or cultural figures.
32.The state would expend hard currency; the visitor would say some nice things about #Soviet life; the press would report these remarks, seeing in them a stamp of approval.
33. To become a full #KGB agent, a foreigner had to agree to two things. One was “conspiratorial collaboration.” The other was willingness to take #KGB instruction.
34.The idea for #Trump´s first trip to #Moscow came after he found himself seated next to the #Soviet ambassador Yuri #Dubinin. This was in autumn 1986; the event was a luncheon held by Leonard Lauder, the businessman son of Estée Lauder.
35.#Dubinin’s daughter Natalia “had read about #TrumpTower and knew all about it,” #Trump said in his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal.
36.#Trump continued: “One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel, across the street from the #Kremlin, in partnership with the #Soviet government.”
37.According to Natalia Dubinina, it involved a more determined effort by the #Soviet government to seek out #Trump. In February 1985 #Kryuchkov complained again about “the lack of appreciable results of recruitment against the #Americans in most Residencies.”
38.The ambassador arrived in #NewYork in March 1986. His original job was #Soviet ambassador to the #UN.; his daughter Dubinina was already living in the city with her family, and she was part of the #Soviet #UN. delegation.
39.#Dubinin wouldn’t have answered to the #KGB. And his role wasn’t formally an intelligence one. But he would have had close contacts with the power apparatus in #Moscow. He enjoyed greater trust than other, lesser ambassadors.
40.Dubinina said she picked up her father at the airport. It was his first time in #NewYorkCity. She took him on a tour. The first building they saw was Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, she told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
41. Dubinin was so excited he decided to go inside to meet the building’s owner. They got into the elevator. At the top, Dubinina said, they met #Trump.
42.The ambassador—“fluent in #English and a brilliant master of negotiations”—charmed the busy #Trump, telling him: “The first thing I saw in the city is your tower!”
43.Dubinina said: “#Trump melted at once. He is an emotional person, somewhat impulsive. He needs recognition. And, of course, when he gets it he likes it. My father’s visit worked on #Trump like honey to a bee.”
44.This encounter happened six months before the Estée Lauder lunch. In Dubinina’s account she admits her father was trying to hook #Trump.
45.The man from #Moscow wasn’t a wide-eyed rube but a veteran diplomat who served in #France and #Spain, and translated for Nikita #Khrushchev when he met with Charles de Gaulle at the Elysée Palace in #Paris.
46.He had seen plenty of impressive buildings. Weeks after his first #Trump meeting, #Dubinin was named #Soviet ambassador to #Washington.
47.Dubinina’s own role is interesting. According to a foreign intelligence archive smuggled to the West, the #Soviet mission to the #UN. was a haven for the #KGB and #GRU
48.Many of the 300 #Soviet nationals employed at the #UN. secretariat were #Soviet intelligence officers working undercover, including as personal assistants to secretary-generals.
49.The #Soviet #UN. delegation had greater success in finding agents and gaining political intelligence than the #KGB’s #NewYork residency.
50.Dubinin’s other daughter, Irina, said that her late father—he died in 2013—was on a mission as #ambassador. To make contact with #America’s business elite. #Gorbachev’s Politburo was interested in understanding capitalism.
51.Dubinin’s invitation to #Trump to visit #Moscow looks like a classic cultivation exercise, which would have had the #KGB’s full support and approval.
52 .In The Art of the Deal, #Trump writes: “In January 1987, I got a letter from Yuri Dubinin, the #Soviet ambassador to the #UnitedStates,
53.The Letter began: ‘It is a pleasure for me to relay some good news from #Moscow.’ It went on to say that the leading #Soviet state agency for international tourism, Goscomintourist, had expressed interest in pursuing a joint venture to construct and manage a hotel in #Moscow.
54.There were many ambitious real estate developers in the #UnitedStates—why had #Moscow picked #Trump?
55.According to Viktor Suvorov—a former #GRU military spy—and others, #KGB ran Intourist, the agency to which #Trump referred. It functioned as a subsidiary #KGB branch.
56. Initiated in 1929 by #Stalin, Intourist was the #SovietUnion’s official state travel agency. Its job was to vet and monitor all foreigners coming into the #SovietUnion.
57.“In my time it was #KGB,” Suvorov said. “They gave permission for people to visit.” The #KGB’s first and second directorates routinely received lists of prospective visitors to the country based on their visa applications.
58. As a #GRU operative, Suvorov was personally involved in recruitment, albeit for a rival service to the #KGB. #Soviet spy agencies were always interested in cultivating “young ambitious people,” he said—an upwardly mobile businessman, a scientist, a “guy with a future.”
59.Once in #Moscow, they would receive lavish hospitality. “Everything is free. There are good parties with nice girls. It could be a sauna and girls and who knows what else.”
60. The hotel rooms or villa were under “24-hour control,” with “security cameras and so on,” Suvorov said. “The interest is only one. To collect some information and keep that information about him for the future.”
61.These dirty-tricks operations were all about the long term, #KGB would expend effort on visiting students from the developing world, not least Africa. After 10 or 20 years,some of them would be “nobody.”But others would have risen to positions of influence in their countries.
62.“It’s at this point you say: ‘Knock, knock! Do you remember the marvelous time in #Moscow? It was a wonderful evening. You were so drunk. You don’t remember? We just show you something for your good memory.’”
63.January 1987, #Trump was closer to the “prominent person” status of #Kryuchkov’s note. #Dubinin deemed #Trump interesting enough to arrange his trip to #Moscow.
64.Another #USA.-based #Soviet diplomat, Vitaly Churkin—the future #UN. ambassador—helped put it together.
65.On July 4, 1987, #Trump flew to #Moscow for the first time, together with Ivana and Lisa Calandra, #Ivana’s #Italian-#American assistant.
66. #Moscow was, #Trump wrote, “an extraordinary experience.” The #Trumps stayed in #Lenin’s suite at the National Hotel, at the bottom of Tverskaya Street, near Red Square.
67. in October 1917, #Lenin and his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, had spent a week in room 107. The hotel was linked to the glass-and-concrete Intourist complex next door and was— in effect—under #KGB control. The #Lenin suite would have been bugged
68.According to The Art of the Deal, #Trump toured “a half dozen potential sites for a hotel, including several near #RedSquare.” “I was impressed with the ambition of #Soviet officials to make a deal,” #Trump wrote.
69.#Trump also visited #Leningrad, later #StPetersburg. A photo shows #Trump and #Ivana standing in Palace Square—he in a suit, she in a red polka dot blouse with a string of pearls. Behind them are the Winter Palace and the state Hermitage museum.
70.That July the #Soviet press wrote enthusiastically about the visit of a foreign celebrity. This was Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize–winning novelist and journalist.
71. #Pravda featured a long conversation between the Colombian guest and #Gorbachev. García Márquez spoke of how #SouthAmericans, himself included, sympathized with #socialism and the #USSR. #Moscow brought García Márquez over for a film festival.
72.#Trump’s visit appears to have attracted less attention. There is no mention of him in #Moscow’s #Russian State Library newspaper archive. (Either his visit went unreported or any articles featuring it have been quietly removed.)
73. Press clippings do record a visit by a #WestGerman official and an #Indian cultural festival.

#KGB’s private dossier on #Trump would have gotten larger. #KGB´s multipage profile would have been enriched with fresh material, including anything gleaned via eavesdropping.
74.Nothing came of the trip—at least nothing in terms of business opportunities inside #Russia. This pattern of failure would be repeated in #Trump’s subsequent trips to #Moscow.
75.But #Trump flew back to #NewYork with a new sense of strategic direction. For the first time he gave serious indications that he was considering a career in politics. Not as #mayor or #governor or #senator.

#Trump was thinking about running for #president.
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