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Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset more than four decades ago, a former KGB spy has said.
Yuri Shvets, who was posted to Washington DC in the 1980s, spoke to the Guardian where he revealed that the former POTUS' willingness to share 'anti-western propaganda' was celebrated in Moscow.
Shvets, who moved to the US permanently in 1993, was a 'key source' for the new book American Kompromat by journalist Craig Unger which has been published this week.
Shvets alleges that in 1987 Trump and his then-wife Ivana visited Russia for the first time and were 'fed by KGB talking points' and 'flattered' him and suggested he go into politics.
Speaking to the Guardian, Shvets said: "For the KGB, it was a charm offensive.
"They had collected a lot of information on his personality so they knew who he was personally.
"The feeling was that he was extremely vulnerable intellectually, and psychologically, and he was prone to flattery.
"This is what they exploited. They played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality and believed this is the guy who should be the president of the United States one day: it is people like him who could change the world.
"They fed him these so-called active measures soundbites and it happened.
"So it was a big achievement for the KGB active measures at the time."
Shvets says when Trump returned to the US shortly after he began to consider running for president.
Trump then took out a full page ad in the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe with the headline: There's nothing wrong with America's Foreign Defence Policy that a little backbone can't cure.
The publication of this ad was cause for celebration back in Moscow, Shvets said, with KGB agents beloved it was a successful 'active measure' from a 'new KGB asset'.
Shvet added: "It was unprecedented. I am pretty well familiar with KGB active measures starting in the early 70s and 80s, and then afterwards with Russia active measures, and I haven't heard anything like that or anything similar - until Trump became the president of this country - because it was just silly.
"It was hard to believe that somebody would publish it under his name and that it will impress real serious people in the west but it did and, finally, this guy became the president."
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