Russia 'has something on Putin's puppet' Trump, claims expert

Meanwhile Mathieu Boulegue, a Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House says Mr Trump has a “fascination” for the Russian leader – while Mr Putin himself regards the billionaire as a “useful puppet”. Mr Trump’s business dealings in Russia have been the source of considerable speculation, not least several proposals for a Trump Tower Moscow, also known as the Moscow Project, which was never realised.

Mr Boulegue stressed he did not have any specific evidence, saying: “I am not saying Trump is an agent of the Kremlin, of course not.

“But Trump has been doing business in Russia for so long that he is known in the system and they definitely have something on him.

“And they know how to influence him in a way.

He added: “I’m talking beyond the bromance beyond, all the ‘we respect each’ other sort of thing.”

There were parallels between the two, Mr Boulegue said.

He explained: “You have two Presidents who crave recognition; who like to do things in their own way; who like informal deals and trade offs; who have to cope with very complicated internal systems and vested interests and lobbies.

“I don’t think they have much in common in terms of personality.

“But in terms of management style there is definitely something.

“There is also Trump’s fascination for Putin in terms of him being a white, male tough guy who is leader of a top country.

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying Trump takes after Putin, which would be a step too far.

“Putin is interested in Trump in as much as he can use him, as a puppet.”

Speaking after a summit meeting with Mr Putin in Helsinki in 2018, Mr Trump said: “I thought President Putin was very, very strong.”

In the same year, he talked about a “great” meeting with NATO – but said he he “had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia.

“Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!”

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