The news is out: [For many observers, the biggest takeaway of the New York Times’s bombshell report on President Trump’s finances is how often in recent years he has paid little to no income tax, but for former intelligence officials, it’s the potential of his massive debt to make him susceptible to foreign influence.
The Times exposé, which is based on years of Trump’s tax returns obtained by the paper, said the president “is personally responsible for loans and other debts totaling $421 million, with most of it coming due within four years.”
The Times report said the scale of the president’s debts, with few obvious income streams to service them, paints a picture of “a businessman-president in a tightening financial vise.”
Intelligence professionals declared themselves stunned by the news of the debts, because of what those debts imply about the president’s vulnerability to foreign influence. “It’s just mind-boggling,” one former counterintelligence officer told Yahoo News.
Trump’s public financial disclosures since he became president have named his lenders and the broad range of the amounts he owes to each — for instance, one loan from Deutsche Bank that matures in 2024 is listed as simply “over $50,000,000.” But the Times report puts a precise figure on the debt and illustrates the trouble the president might have servicing it, and in doing so, helps explain why that debt is a weakness that, according to former CIA officials, could be used by foreign intelligence services.
Adversarial foreign intelligence services “penetrate banks for this very kind of information,” said Douglas London, a former senior operations officer and counterintelligence expert with the CIA. “The idea that he is in so much debt, there is no doubt in my mind that hostile intelligence services knew that,” agreed Marc Polymeropoulos, a former senior CIA official.
But rather than seek to formally recruit Trump as an intelligence asset, those spy services are more likely to have tried to use any control they might have over the financial institutions that hold his debts to persuade Trump to adopt policies to their liking, according to Polymeropoulos. In such a scenario, Trump would have become what is known in the intelligence community as “an agent of influence,” he said.
“It’s a huge concern among people who look at counterintelligence because this would be a glaring sign for any hostile intelligence service,” Polymeropoulos said. “Financial vulnerabilities are at the top of the list when you pursue targets, period.”]
Comes January, I seriously doubt Trump will refuse to leave the White House if Biden is selected. What I think will happen, Trump will rush to auction off the country and its secrets to anyone who can pay whatever money he needs to get out of debt. That will prove my written statement that Trump supporters are Russian trolls who are so willing to destroy this nation. Stupidity is not free; it carries a tremendous cost.