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.
The scandal of Russian interference became Topic # 1 in the first six months of 2017. In a whirlwind of bombshell stories and breaking developments, Trump’s Russia ties went from a fringe topic, ignored by the national media, to a national media obsession.
During the 2016 election, candidate Trump’s laudatory comments about Russia were, frankly, weird. For 70 years, the Republican Party had defined itself by being hawkish on Russia. In the previous presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said Russia was “without question, our #1 geopolitical foe.”
During the campaign, Trump had flip-flopped on a whole series of positions to align with traditional GOP values. But on the subject of Russia and Vladimir Putin, Trump remained steadfast. He unabashedly praised and defended the Russian leader.
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, rewinds the tape and takes us through the blurred timeline from the launch of Donald Trump’s campaign to the beginning of the Mueller investigation. Max brings into sharp focus the details of the greatest political scandal in American history: the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
The daily deluge of information makes Trump’s relationship with Russia seem even more confusing and complex. It is almost like reading a novel with the pages out of order.
The Asset puts the pages back in order, starting just as the FBI would if it were conducting a counter-intelligence investigation. We’ll follow the money. Each week, we will examine the colorful characters and dirty deals that populate the story of how the son of a shady real estate mogul became President of the United States with the help of a ruthless autocrat trying to undermine the United States and re-establish the glory of his fading superpower on the global stage.