Rep. Schiff: Trump "Allowing Himself To Be Manipulated By Putin"


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said President Trump is "allowing himself to be manipulated by Putin" on Tuesday's broadcast of Anderson Cooper 360.

On Monday, former DNI James Clapper said Trump is an "asset" being handled by Putin.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN: I want to play you something that we heard from the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, obviously, the entire Russia investigation at its core is a question about whether Russia tried to influence the election, whether Russia has undue influence on the Trump campaign and maybe at the beginning stages of the Trump presidency. This is what DNI Clapper -- Former DNI Clapper said about phone calls between Vladimir Putin and President Trump over the weekend.


LT. GEN. JAMES CLAPPER (RET.), CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset. And that's what he's doing with the president.


BERMAN: Do you think President Trump is an asset to Vladimir Putin? He's treating him like some kind of intelligence asset?

SCHIFF: Well, I think the president is allowing himself to be manipulated by Putin. Putin knows because the Kremlin does a psychological profile, I'm sure, of world leaders, what the president's strengths and weaknesses are, and knows because this is sort of plain (ph) sight that flattery will get you just about everything with this president.

And so in his year-end comments, Vladimir Putin talks about how great the American economy is and why are some people in the United States questioning the legitimacy of his election when, of course the Russians would never interfere in our affairs.

Here's the talking points that could have been written by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president of Russia, Putin understands how to push this president's buttons, how to get this president to do effectively his bidding and praise is the way to do it.

So in that respect, it is a bit like the relationship between a case officer and asset. You need to know the motivations of your asset, what will get the asset to do the things you want, I wouldn't push that analogy too far, but the reality is I think Putin is using all of the tactics you would expect him to use. The only surprising thing is how well they seem to work with the president.

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