Quid Pro Quo – Wikileaks

Steele Dossier

In return for Russia leaking hacked emails to Wikileaks, the Trump team agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue, and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine.

Comments/Corroboration of Steele Dossier

Circumstantial evidence. Trump’s team and Russia both took these actions. But were they in consideration for one another? Is it reasonable to argue that Trump would otherwise try to unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia, during Russia’s ongoing cyberwar against the US, and without the US receiving anything in return other than Russia’s goodwill?

Easing Up on US Response to Russian Intervention in Ukraine

On July 27, 2016, Donald Trump told a news conference he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting US sanctions on Russia. Source

From July 11–12, 2016, only a few days before Wikileaks began publishing hacked DNC emails, Republican Party policy on Ukraine was officially changed: no longer proposing sending “lethal weapons” to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian aggression, but instead, softened to say only “provide appropriate assistance.” There are claims this change was prompted by Trump campaign request. Source

Raising NATO defense commitments:

On March 27, 2016, on ABC News This Week, Donald Trump said that NATO was obsolete and that the US should “readjust NATO.” Source

In February 2017, Michael Flynn recommended that Trump support Montenegro to join NATO, extending NATO’s defense guarantee to another Eastern European country. Source

Not sure what to make of this – Russia publicly opposed this move. Would this actually deflect NATO attention away from Ukraine?