“Putin wanted to disrupt the electoral process here, to send a message back to Russia and also to the rest of the world that democracy is always a charade, so [the] election is always rigged, and so let’s not complain about so-called elections in Russia or in other non-democratic countries,” Kasparov said of the motives behind Putin’s alleged involvement with the U.S. presidential election.
But there’s more to it than making Russia’s regime seem normal by comparison, the 2007 Russian presidential candidate said. Putin sees Trump as an “ideal counterpart for [his] geopolitical agenda,” he told ABC News' Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
“Trump’s ideas about the rest of the world, they are very much aligned with Putin’s vision of bringing the world back to the 19th or beginning of early 20th century where big guys, superpowers could talk about all of the arrangements and other countries had no choice but to follow,” Kasparov said.
He sees it as a methodical process for ensuring a like-minded Western partner for the Kremlin. “It was quite apparent to me,” Kasparov said, “that they put the entire sort of machine, KGB machine, the network of agents and lobbies, and of course hackers, to make sure that Trump will have a good shot at the presidency.”
His book, “Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped,” coincidentally comes out in paperback tomorrow on Election Day. It excoriates Putin’s influence on the world, comparing the Russian president to terrorist groups and pushing U.S. leaders to understand the dangers of a relationship with him.
Though any possible ties between the two leaders have not been proved, Kasparov thinks the answer lies somewhere in Trump’s tax returns.
“I’m troubled by Trump’s refusal to share his tax returns. In 2008 he was saved from bankruptcy by [an] influx of foreign money,” Kasparov said. “And we have good reason to suggest that the money, most of this money, came from Russia and Russian oligarchs.”
Ultimately, a Trump-Putin alliance, Kasparov thinks, “will symbolize the end of the world order that has been functioning since [the end of] World War II.”
For Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, “Confronting Putin will be the number one item on her agenda if she’s serious and if she’s willing to recover the damage made by the previous administration.”
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