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.
We break down the beginnings of the two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: one run out of Trump Tower, and the other run out of the Kremlin.
From the moment Trump announced he was running for president, he was unabashedly pro-Russia. It made no sense. Until we learned that throughout the campaign, the Trump Organization was actively seeking to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow.
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, details the early connections between the two campaigns. Trump surrounded himself with shady actors with ties to the Kremlin, including his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, national security adviser Michael Flynn, and campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.
Lastly, the episode breaks down the beginning of the Russian campaign to elect Donald Trump and the origins of its online efforts. Russia created an online army online designed to poison American discourse on social media and advance Trump’s campaign. The Russian efforts worked like a political campaign and we will break down their impact on the 2016 election.