Trump/Russia: Moscow Rules
A production of ABC News Australia, Trump/Russia: Moscow Rules examines the allegations of collusion in the 2016 United States presidential election, the threats they pose for the future of western democracy, and the ultimate motivations of its central perpetrator - Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Putin, having always regarded the United States with suspicion, was finally propelled into action following the United States-led sanctions against his diplomats in retaliation for Russia's annexation of Crimea. His mode of attack? A meticulous manipulation of America's democratic election process.
So say figures from both British and United States intelligence forces, including former Director of Central Intelligence James Clapper. During the course of the film, they testify to Putin's keen interest in America's affairs and his views of then candidate Donald Trump as a much more desirable foe than he had faced in previous U.S. administrations.
Intelligence agencies are iron clad in their belief that Russia toyed with social media outreach, and engaged in cyber-espionage during the election. By hacking into the Democratic National Committee, he set out to tilt enthusiasm from Hilary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump. But the question remains: to what extent - if any - was Trump and his campaign aware of or abetting Russia's efforts?
From Donald Trump, Jr.'s clandestine meeting with Russian interests to the bragging of political operative Roger Stone regarding his contacts with Wikileaks, the film provides a fast-paced recap of the suspicions and controversies that have marred the climate of presidential politics in recent times. Trump's long-running financial dealings with Russia are also placed under a microscope, as is the relevance of Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, disgraced political consultant Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in the ongoing investigation.
The story, of course, is still evolving, as new revelations continue to emerge in the swelter of 24-hours news coverage and as the Robert Mueller investigation nears its conclusion. Given the curious and often sensational revelations that have already leaked, one can only imagine what the public has not yet been told.
The stakes couldn't be higher, and Trump/Russia: Moscow Rules recognizes the tensions and divisiveness this political scandal has inspired in the United States, Russia and beyond.