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Jacki Schechner

Editor-in-chief of The Committee to Investigate Russia

Jacki is a former correspondent for CNN and Current TV.

Jacki Schechner is editor-in-chief of The Committee to Investigate Russia. During my conversation with her on episode 999, I raised the possibility that Putin’s kompromat didn’t just stop with Donald Trump. 

There is now reason to believe Putin has kompromat on Republicans besides Trump. Kompromat on Devin Nunes, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul.

This interview has been edited and condensed:

David: Tell me what Trump wanted. Tell me what Trump wanted before Election Day 2016, and then what he wanted the day after he found himself president-elect?

Jacki: I don’t think he wanted to be president. His ego wanted to win. Because he’s one of those guys who likes to win, but he doesn’t want to do the work after the fact.

DAVID: Nobody in the Trump camp ever thought they were going to win?

JACKI:  Right, the idea was, “Let’s elevate the name. Let’s elevate the brand. Let’s be the guy who ran for president.” Running for president is something he’s been kicking around for 18 years, because it’s a great way to sell books. He didn’t have any intention of actually wanting to do the job, I mean that’s abundantly clear. He spends a tremendous amount of time golfing and vacationing at Mar-a-Lago and hanging out with his friends or whatever he calls those people. So, for him it’s always been about himself and money. He’s a narcissist through and through. He’s interested in himself and he’s interested in money and that’s it. And he thinks being rich makes him a good person, and that rich people are good people because they’re rich. And so, it baffles me that the voters, his supporters who follow him with blind loyalty are the same people he would never associate with. He thinks those people are so beneath him, and we know he disparages them.

DAVID: So, the run for president was only about elevating the brand.

JACKI: And to become a worldwide name, if he wasn’t already, and to capitalize on that when he loses the presidential election. But then he wins, and now he’s indebted to Putin. That’s why he’s so sycophantic.

DAVID: He likes strong men.

JACKI: He likes being in that club. You see the bully, and you decide you want to be the bully. He likes those guys, he likes dictators, authoritarians. He wants to be seen like that. He thinks that’s a good thing. That’s why he openly sympathizes with them and takes their side.

DAVID: He secretly wants to be Putin?

JACKI: He wants people to respect him out of fear the same way Putin has garnered respect from the Russian oligarchs. Except Trump lacks Putin’s intelligence, experience or even a personality manipulative enough to pull that off. And so instead of oligarchs, he’s surrounded by quislings who kiss up to him in a very strange way.

DAVID: Reagan, George W. Bush and Trump were useful idiots for corrupt elements of the Republican Party. But Trump transcended all this.  He’s become a usefulidiot for both the Republican Party and the Kremlin.

JACKI:  I can’t figure out the Republican Party. It seems to me if he’s hijacked your brand you would step in at some point and take it back.  I’m no Mike Pence fan. I think he’s guilty of a lot of this stuff too. I think he knows more about Russia than we suspect he knows. But I don’t get why he’d allow his party to be hijacked this way.

DAVID: If Putin has kompromat on Trump, which we learned from the Steele Dossier, why would he stop with Trump? Why wouldn’t he have kompromat, on Mike Pence, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?

JACKI: Well that’s what makes it all very suspicious. I think it’s very strange how Senator Lindsey Graham turned into a loyal Trump foot soldier.  I think it’s very interesting the way Senator Rand Paul is suddenly speaking out in favor of Russia right now. Congressman Devin Nunez is inexplicable. I don’t understand it. We know Dana Rohrabacher was very pro Russia for a very long time but Devin Nunes’ behavior is inexplicable. Maybe they were cut in on some sort of deal with the oligarchs. Maybe Putin has kompromat on them. When it comes to Putin, you have to remember once KGB always KGB. That’s how how Putin was raised.

Jacki Schechner

Editor-in-chief of The Committee to Investigate Russia


Jacki Schechner is editor-in-chief of The Committee to Investigate Russia.

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