NEWSBUD EXCLUSIVE – What Did Putin Mean When He Thanked the CIA??

A quiet December 17 Sunday morning in the U.S. was shaken by a geopolitical sensation. Many long-time Russia watchers could hardly believe their eyes. The cause for their surprise was a three-paragraph press release on the official website of the Russian president Vladimir Putin detailing an unexpected and unusual phone conversation between Putin and the U.S. president Donald Trump.

According to the press release, Putin “thanked” Trump for the information provided to the Russian intelligence agencies by the CIA which “was enough to locate and detain” the individuals who planned to commit terrorist acts in several well-known public places in St. Petersburg, including the Kazan Cathedral.[i] Putin asked Trump to “convey his appreciation” to the CIA director (who was, interestingly, not named) and the CIA operatives involved in the intelligence sharing. Last, but not least, Putin “assured” Trump that the Russian intelligence agencies would return the favor, if they ever came into possession of the information of similar importance for the U.S. national security.

Soon after the Kremlin’s press release, there was a press release from the White House. The White House release essentially repeated what was already stated by the Kremlin. However, it included a sentence which, in my opinion, is very significant for understanding Putin’s action. “Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when countries work together.” The press release also stated that Trump called the CIA director Mike Pompeo “to congratulate him, his very talented people, and the entire intelligence community on a job well done!”[ii]

On the surface, this may appear paradoxical. Mike Pompeo, who uses every public speaking opportunity to bash Putin and the Russian government, has now found himself in the position of publicly receiving their gratitude. However, as I see it, this is a very sophisticated psychological technique deployed by Putin. The opponent is openly and publicly praised for his honorable deeds (especially he does not deserve it) in order to set a reputational standard for his future behavior. Indeed, this may also be an indirect confirmation of the rumor that Pompeo will soon be leaving the position of the CIA director to replace Rex Tillerson as the head of the State Department.[iii] [READ MORE]

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  1. roger sylvester says:


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