What Volodya knew and when he knew it

Michelle Goldberg makes the “this is what Putin has on him” point:

We still don’t know for certain if Russia has used leverage over Trump. But there should no longer be any doubt that Russia has leverage over him.

Why? Because it’s now crystal clear that Trump was lying about his dealings with Russia all along and Putin knew it.

In a Jan. 11, 2017, news conference, Trump said that the “closest I came to Russia” was in selling a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008. While we’re just learning precisely how dishonest this was, Putin has known it all along. That means that throughout Trump’s campaign and presidency, Putin has had the power to plunge him into political crisis.

“If the Russians are aware that senior American officials are publicly stating things that are not true, it’s a counterintelligence nightmare,” Adam Schiff, the California Democrat in line to take over the House Intelligence Committee, told me.

All this time Putin has been watching Trump lie to us, and watching us helpless to do anything about it.

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