It is undeniable that Donald Trump is facing some serious legal peril as he embarks on his third candidacy for the presidency. He was just indicted on 34 felony counts of financial fraud by a Manhattan Grand Jury. And there are ongoing investigations of his criminal activities by a Grand Jury in Georgia and a Special Counsel in Washington, D.C.
Naturally, Trump’s response to this well warranted scrutiny has been to lash out viciously at the prosecutors conducting the probes, and at Democrats generally. His attacks are typically devoid of substance and rely entirely on his seething animus and fear.
Joining the hue and cry from Republicans and the Trumpian right is Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who was recently released from custody in the U.S. in an exchange for American basketball player, Brittney Griner, who Russia had arrested on trumped up charges last year.
However, Bout’s concerns for Trump are unrelated to his legal problems. Bout believes that Trump’s life is danger and is advising him to flee the U.S. and take refuge in Russia. According to Raw Story…
“Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, freed from a US jail last year, on Friday urged US ex-president Donald Trump to seek refuge in Russia as his life was ‘in peril'” […]
“Bout, also known as the ‘Merchant of Death,’ [warned Trump that] ‘I believe your life is in peril,’ [and that] The Biden administration will not stop just by dragging you through the court/prison industrial complex,’ he said, referring to Trump’s successor Joe Biden.” […]
“Bout told Trump, whom he has long admired, that he would find a ‘safe haven and from here you can lead the fight for the American people.'”
Under ordinary circumstances, the advice of a Russian arms dealer would not be especially trustworthy. And suggestions that Trump permanently leave the U.S. would be greeted with enthusiastic applause. However, there are surely ulterior motives hidden in this advice. Because Russia is not generally regarded as safe haven for Americans. Just ask Brittney Griner, or Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was just arrested and is currently in a Russian prison.
Rather than being a sanctuary for political dissidents, Russia is known to be a notoriously precarious destination. It’s a place where Vladimir Putin’s political opponents are poisoned and imprisoned. And those are the lucky ones. Others seem to have a bad habit of falling out of windows. It’s definitely not a place from where Trump could lead his MAGA cult followers in a seditious revolution.
On first glance it might seem that Trump would be welcomed by Putin. After all, Trump has been an ardent admirer of the Russian dictator, and pursued an agenda that benefitted him. However, were Trump to seek asylum in Russia it would pose some real risks. As a former U.S. president, he would have knowledge of sensitive information that the Russians would covet (if they could get him to stop yammering about the “rigged and stollen” 2020 election). But once that information is obtained, his usefulness would be kaput, or even problematic for Putin.
In any case, it would be advantageous for Russia to lure Trump into its realm of influence. But it holds no rational advantage for Trump, and certainly not for the U.S. Which is why a nefarious character like Bout would make the suggestion. And framing it as a means of protecting Trump from harm in the U.S. is rather predictable. After all, Fox News has been doing the very same thing…
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