In 2016, Donald Trump conspired with a foreign government to become President of the United States. On July 25, 2019, with the 2020 election around the corner, he decided to do it again.
The first time around, it was collusion, aiding and abetting Russia’s attack on American democracy. The second time, it was extortion, demanding the Ukrainian government manufacture dirt on Trump’s political opponents in exchange for help the country needs to fend off a Russian invasion and chart a democratic future free of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.
To make sense of these recent events that have rocked American politics and led to very real concerns that the President of the United States may be a Russian asset, we need to dig a little deeper.
In Season 1, The Asset dives into Trump’s decades-long history with Russia, from his extensive business dealings with Russian oligarchs to his presidential campaign and the investigations that have sent some of his closest associates to prison.
In Season 2, The Asset explores the backstory to Trump’s infamous phone call with the newly-elected Ukrainian President, where he demanded an investigation into a political opponent and set off a series of events leading to the impeachment inquiry.
Hosted by Max Bergmann, a senior fellow and director of the Moscow Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and featuring expert guests, The Asset will put together the pieces of Trump’s relationship with Russia and Ukrainian extortion campaign.
The Asset is a partnership between the Center for American Progress Action Fund, District Productive, and Protect the Investigation. It is produced by Paul Woodhull, a 20-year veteran media executive and president of Build Better Media, and Peter Ogburn, the executive producer of the Bill Press Show.
Join us as we go through the murky world of Russian intelligence. In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the old-style KGB tactics didn’t go away. Instead, the Russian intelligence apparatus has been empowered. This episode goes through the story of the Russian “illegals” spy ring operating in the U.S., examining the back story of these deep cover Russian agents who would later become the inspiration for the hit television series “The Americans”. We also show how one of the American men recruited by a Russian spy, Carter Page, eventually rose up to become one of Trump’s initial foreign policy advisors.
In this episode of The Asset, host Max Bergmann, the director of The Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, shows how Russia sought to infiltrate and cultivate the far right movement in the United States, locking in on guns and the NRA as the most effective way to do so. It breaks down the story of Maria Butina, a Russian agent currently behind bars.
This episode also hones in on Donald Trump’s reemergence on the political scene with his embrace of the birther conspiracy theory and shows how that conspiracy mirrors the same sorts of disinformation campaigns that Soviet and Russian intelligence love to push.
Lastly, the episode breaks down the idea of kompromat and examines Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. This isn’t just the trip where that infamous tape took place. It is also where Trump once again was seeking to do business in Russia.
The Asset tells the full story of Trump and Russia. Each week, we will examine the colorful characters and dirty deals that populate the story of how Russia helped the son of a shady real estate mogul became President of the United States.