The term “wilderness of mirrors” was coined by CIA agent James Angleton, who, during the Cold War Era believed that the CIA was infiltrated by KGB moles at the highest level. Naturally, Angleton was called paranoid by his compatriots — until it turned out he was right. Now, former NSA officer John Schlndler explains that the wheel of history has come full circle and once again it’s Spy vs. Spy in Washington and Donald Trump’s relationship to Russia and the infamous pee gate tape are at the center of it. The Observer:
[,,,] Mueller’s team and the efforts of our Intelligence Community, the secret side of Washington, D.C., is currently engaged in the biggest counterintelligence investigation since the days of VENONA in the early Cold War, when the FBI and NSA unraveled a vast Kremlin spy apparatus in our country, centered in our nation’s capital.
Seventy years later, it’s the same story, except this time the targets include not just senior White House officials—VENONA revealed that Soviet moles had burrowed deep and high into FDR’s four administrations—but the man in the Oval Office himself. Just exactly what President Donald Trump’s relationship to Moscow is constitutes the cornerstone of the inquiry, and that’s a vexing and complex question, because it requires close examination of Trump’s activities at least going back to 1987, when he took a trip to the Soviet Union
The article goes on to state that while the Steele Dossier’s pee-pee tape claim is viewed with derision by most Western spies, it is very likely that the Kremlin does have other kompromat on Trump. Schlindler says, “senior intelligence sources from several countries have confirmed to me that unpleasant videos of Trump exist, “ peegate tape or no.
So, Steele’s porn-worthy allegation appears to be untrue, but the idea that our president has acted out in sexually controversial (and perhaps illegal) ways—and that somebody has filmed it—is taken very seriously by intelligence experts. Ever since Trump announced his candidacy for the White House in June 2015, espionage gossip everywhere has bandied about what might exist to corroborate decades of rumors about Trump’s antics.
It’s plausible that such kompromat exists, given our president’s lifestyle. Forty years ago, when he was partying at Manhattan’s Studio 54 at its cocaine-fueled heyday alongside celebrities and hangers-on (including the just-indicted Paul Manafort and the swinging Roger Stone), it was a wild scene of which Trump boasted: “I would watch supermodels getting screwed, well-known supermodels getting screwed, on a bench in the middle of the room. There were seven of them and each one was getting screwed by a different guy.”
So on that basis, get ready for some manner of Trump kompromat tape, because apparently there are plenty to choose from:
As many as a dozen intelligence services worldwide, on four continents, are in possession of some sort of “Trump tape” featuring sexual escapades of a controversial nature; in some cases, the women involved appear to be underage. Some of these tapes have been shared with the Mueller investigation.
One Western intelligence agency with a solid professional reputation is in possession of an unpleasant Trump tape that they assess “with high confidence” is bona fide, i.e. exactly what it appears to be. They obtained the tape from a trusted source who plausibly had access to it. Over the decades, Trump has traveled widely—including to Russia more than once—and thereby exposed himself to surreptitious filming in numerous countries.
Schlindler goes on to say that it’s obvious to savvy Western counterspies that fake Trump tapes abound and that someone is spreading them. Now who might that someone be? If you said Vladimir Putin you win an extra ration of beets:
Since the Russians know all about President Trump’s decades of personal antics, including what kompromat exists on him, they appear to be pushing dubious and unverifiable tapes, some of them obviously fake, to create chaos and confusion. [...]
This, then, is yet another successful Kremlin spy operation, one more grand provocation to mess with our Western heads. Although Vladimir Putin is deeply disappointed with President Trump, who has failed to get sanctions lifted off Russia, much less make Washington and Moscow close partners in anything, keeping an increasingly damaged and ineffectual president in the White House, who’s incapable of accomplishing much except rage-tweeting, suits Moscow’s foreign policy needs just fine. [...]
Now, in a more technologically advanced age, the Russians are playing a nearly identical operational game with fake tapes, websites, trolls and bots. The Kremlin appears to have pulled it off again, and it will take years, probably decades, to get to the bottom of the Trump tapes saga—if anybody ever does. Welcome to the Wilderness of Mirrors, Trump Edition.
And bear in mind, Keith Schiller, Trump’s bodyguard, just appeared before the House Intelligence Committee and was grilled for four hours, according to NBC News. Schiller said that Trump was offered five women by a representative of the Miss Universe Pageant, but declined.
That night, two sources said, Schiller said he discussed the conversation with Trump as Trump was walking back to his hotel room, and Schiller said the two men laughed about it as Trump went to bed alone. Schiller testified that he stood outside Trump's hotel room for a time and then went to bed.
One source noted that Schiller testified he eventually left Trump's hotel room door and could not say for sure what happened during the remainder of the night.
Schiller said he and Trump were aware of the risk that hotel rooms in Moscow could be set up to capture hidden video, two sources said.
So, ostensibly Donald Trump is both the guy that was involved in wild goings on at Studio 54 watching supermodels copulate on benches, but he also is the same fellow that turned down a chance to be with five prostitutes. Could be. Only Vladimir Putin knows for certain what kompromat he has on his useful idiot and what he will do with it and when; although given the leaky nature of the Trump Russia investigation and all those intelligence agencies with a tape of some sort, it’s likely that one of them will end up in the hands of a reputable news outlet sooner rather than later. And don’t forget: Robert Mueller has some of these tapes. And therein lies the rub for Donald Trump.