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Fmr FBI Official Tears Into Trump Over Russia Call: Putin Has POTUS ‘Right Where He Wants Him’

MSNBC national security analyst Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, blasted President Donald Trump over his Friday phone call with Vladimir Putin.

Figliuzzi was on an MSNBC panel this afternoon criticizing that call, in which POTUS said the subject of Russian election interference did not come up.

He went through three theories that have gone around about why Trump won’t confront Putin on this: that Trump believes Putin over his own intel community, that he’s “fearful” of acknowledging Russian interference because it would delegitimize his election, and that he “wants to leave open the possibility that this will help him again.”

Figliuzzi said he has another theory that ties into what could happen in 2020:

“I’ll add a fourth theory, Kendis, which is that he actually is also setting the groundwork that if the re-election doesn’t go his way, he will claim that that election was illegitimate, hacked, the result of some foreign nation interfering and so we––these all combine to an environment where he simply has little or to no interest in defending and shoring up the security for our next election. Where this leaves us from a counterintelligence perspective is he’s again wide open to compromise by some other nation, be it China, North Korea, Iran, pick your nation, that wants to let him think that they’re about to help him or have helped him with his re-election. At that point the other country owns him and we have a president that’s essentially controlled by a foreign power.”

“An hour-long call with Vladimir Putin that does not address the central national security concern around Russia is essentially a joke,” he added. “The president has chose in his own personal interest over national interests.”

Figliuzzi said Trump’s clearly in “over his head” in conversations with Putin, worrying that if the president believes Putin over his own intelligence agencies on one thing, “then he’s likely to believe Putin over our intelligence community on other things, like the degree to which North Korea is still progressing in their missile and nuclear program.”

“Putin’s a former KBG officer, highly trained in deception and manipulation,” he concluded. “He’s got Trump right where he wants him with regard to North Korea and other situations, and Trump is just being duped almost on a daily basis.”

You can watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac