Panorama reports on Russia's role in Donald Trump's election victory and asks what's behind the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Trump.
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Was Donald Trump helped into the White House by Vladimir Putin? This
is clearly the most serious blow to our democratic system since Water
gate. A spy on the run, honey traps, cyberwar. The Kremlin has form.
Russia do this like bread and butter. Trump denies everything and
blames the CIA. That is something that Nazi Germany would do and did
do. We ask what does the Trump/Putin bromance mean for us. It is not
going to be business as usual. And what happens if the two leaders fall
out. They're behind us. In 2013, Donald Trump's biggest
worry was his golfing handicap. Hello Sir. I was making a film about
him and the murky characters he had been doing business with. I'm
playing in a big tournament. I met him in Bedminster in New Jersey. No
Russian spies here. I have been asking as many provocative questions
as possible. I know. I have seen him. He is very provocative. Do you
want to take me for a spin on the golf buggy. Experience the wall of
Trump charm. I'm glad you came out. I appreciate you taking the time.
I'm just worried about the driver! Bedminster projects the image of
Donald Trump that millions have bought into - the millionaire with
the Midas touch. They are gold. They're gold plated. 24 carat gold.
BBC health and safety will be watching. Since then, my golfing
partner has gone up in the world. And found a new buddie. If he says
great things about me I will say great things about him. Vladimir
Putin said Donald Trump is a genius. Why does Trump seem to admire Putin
so much? Under his watch countries have been invaded, a passenger jet
shot out of the sky and too many of his critics have ended up dead. But
for Donald Trump, he is full of compliments. TRANSLATION: Trump is %
very brighted a talent talented. How can we not welcome that. Michael
D'Antonio is fascinated by what Trump and Putin might have in
common. He lives in a world that he has described as a comic book. He
has said that I am the star of my own comic book and I'm the central
character of it. He believes in the superficial extreme images of life.
He believes he is superman? Or Batman? Or Trumpman. Yes or maybe he
is a villain in a story. If you think about Vladimir Putin, he is
also a comic book character. He is head of a country whose economy is
half that of the state of California. And yet, on the world
stage, he looms large, because he has huffed himself up and he is a
strong man and Donald admires strong men. He admires the exertion of
power and he admires the fact that Putin doesn't seem inhibited about
using it. In the past week the Trump man and the Vladiator have had to
deal with a grenade lobbed into their adventures, by a former MI6
officer. You couldn't make it up. The dossier reportedly written by
Christopher Steele claims Moscow armed Team Trump with information
about his opponent and says the Russians have Kompromat on Trump. In
English, we would call that blackmail. The dossier is
unverified, Trump denies everything and it furious it is out there. I
think it was a disgraceful. That the intelligence agencies allowed any
information that turned out to be so false and fake out. And that is
something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do. It is a
disgrace. Is the dossier fiction, fact or a bit of both. In the
shadowy world of free lance intelligence, that is unknowable for
now. In 2013 the Trump-owned Miss Universe circus rolled into Moscow.
Donald Trump had his own reasons to be excited. He had tweeted. Do you
think Putin will be going to the Miss Universe pageant. Will he
become my new friend. A meeting was reportedly set up, but it never
happened. But the leaked dossier said a number of prostitutes were
provided and hidden cameras recorded everything. Malcolm Nance used to be
an officer in US intelligence and has studied Russian spy craft. Most
of the rooms are wired for sound, even if they're not wired, they have
sophisticated enough collection systems to where they don't have to
be in the room. The intelligence service would have been part of the
analysis team that would have been watching him. To determine is Donald
Trump or anyone on his staff someone we could turn into an agent who
would work for Russia. Everything in that report fits with how Russian
intelligence works. That doesn't mean it is true. But Putin has form
for Kompromat. Back in 2000, Mikhail Kasyanov was Putin's Prime Minister.
They fell out. And Mikhail Kasyanov became an outspoken leader of the
opposition. Then last year, this video of the married man having sex
with his assistant was broadcast on state TV. Mikhail Kasyanov told us
about the latest allegations. I'm almost sure special equipment was
installed. There is no corroborating evidence
for the Kompromat and Trump said he would never have fallen for it. I am
careful I'm surrounded by body guards and I always tell them be
careful, because in your hotel rooms, and no matter where you go,
you're going to probably have cameras. Does anyone believe that
story? I'm also very much a germaphobe by the way. Believe me.
But Kompromat is not just about sex. It can be about money. Could the way
he does business make him vulnerable to blackmail? He has always wanted
to make it big in yaush since his first -- Russia since his first
visit in the 80s. But there a problem with business in Russia
today. Most money in Russia is connected to gangsterism. Not all of
it. But much of it and most of it. If you're doing business with any of
the big business groups in Moscow you might deal with people whoo were
part of -- who were part of international crime syndicates.
Donald Trump never got a hotel off the ground in Moscow. But Russian
money did ends up in Trump Tower. This is Felix Sater, a
Russian/American gangster. Before becoming an advisor to Donald Trump
in New York he had been to prison for stabbing a man in the face and
convicted for his part in a $40 million mafia scam on Wall Street.
Felix Sater escorted Donald Trump junior and Ivanka around Moscow no
2006. Why would Trump want him as a partner? Back in 2013, I asked Trump
about a property deal that he had did with Felix Sater's company,
Bayrock. Why didn't you say to him, you're connected with the mafia,
you're fired. First, we were not the developer. That was a licensing
deal. Your name is on it. I don't know. You're telling me things I
don't know about. You tell me about Felix Sater. I know who is. For a
year, you stayed in bed with Felix Sater and he was connected with the
mafia. Again, John, maybe you're thick, but when you have a signed
contract, you can't in is in country just break it and I hate to do this,
but I have that big group of people waiting. One last question please. I
have to leave. Felix Sater told us -- Felix Sater told us he is not and
never has been connected with the mob. But these associations leave
Donald Trump vulnerable to be be compromised. The leaked dossier
doesn't just suggested that Trump could be black haild. It detailed
election hacking and we know this much is now true. I'm in Washington
to see the evidence for myself. Welcome. This man's company were the
first to identify hostile code in the computers of Hillary Clinton.
Never never seen an operation like this conducted in the United States.
He classified foreign agents using animal names. Chinese are pandas,
Russian spies are bears. April 2000 16, Fancy Bear intrudes. That is?
Russian military intelligence. How was Crowdstrike so sure the spies
were Russian? What is their proof? This is the actual piece of code
deployed in the DNC. This is indications of internet connections
to the mothership. This is your equivalent of the burglar's foot
steps in the snow? Yes, looking at this evidence and how this code was
written and how we have seen in previous attacks, looking at it the
evidence in the course of investigation it gave us confidence
that this was indeed Russian intelligence. What is so
extraordinary is that during the campaign, Trump egged on the Russian
hackers. Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to
find the 30,000 e-mails that are missingching I think you will
probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens.
That would be nice. There is no doubt that Russia was listening.
Welcome to the citadel of cyberwar. The people who directed the hacking
of American democracy are spread across Moscow and some are based
here, the headquarters of the the FSB. Which is the new name for the K
GB. Its former boss - Vladimir Putin. The party line in Moscow is
emfatty that rush -- emphatically that Russia did not hack the
election. This man is a Russian Senator. A lot of people in the
United States, including people in the CIA that say Russian ya hacked
America? As far as I read I, it does not point anywhere. Russia did not
hack American democracy full stop. Russia did not hack American
democracy full stop. But look at this press Conference last months.
Is that is wink from Putin that he did have a hand in Trump's victory?
TRANSLATION: No one believed he would win. Except for us! Donald
Trump is the most right-wing candidate of the Republican Party.
Alexander Dugin has been described as Vladimir Putin's philosopher
king. He also has his own pro-Clem -- Clem Lynne tooefr show. -
pro-Clem Lynne TV show. This shows that America is on brink of a
revolution. Was the election of Donald Trump to
do with Vladimir Putin? You overestimate our capabilities. We
are happy that American people has made such a choice, but I am
absolutely sure that our influence on the free choice of American
people was strictly zero. Absolutely zero? Zero. Some in Team Trump go
along with this. They deny the Russian hacking and blame US
intelligence for spreading the story: The CIA lied to us about
Benghazi. They lied about Vietnam. They lied to us about the Kennedy
assassination. Their spies, spies -- they're spies, spies lie. It is in
their interest to build up this bogeyman of Russia to legitimise
Donald Trump's presidency. For an incoming president to favour Russia,
the old Cold War enemy over the CIA, is unprecedented. One man who used
to run the agency thinks Trump may be naivement It could be that --
naive. There is the term of useful idiot that the Russians throw around
for someone who goes along with what they are trying to accomplish
without thinking very much about it. Whether or not there is any truth to
the dossier, the former spy master has a chilling warning for the new
president. They may have something that they've learned through cyber
espionage that is detrimental to him, his business dealings or his
personal standing. I would think it prudent to assume that is the case.
No computer is safe. I don't care what they say, no computer is safe.
Since his surprise election victory, Trump's been picking his Cabinet.
Some have been critical of Russia, but others have had curiously close
ties to the Kremlin. Number one, Trump's choice for Secretary of
State, Rex Tillerson. As head of Exxon he struck huge oil deals in
Russia and received the order of friendship from Putin in 2013.
Number two, retired general Michael Flynn, the new National Security
Adviser. He got paid for speaking at a Russia Today event and sat next to
Putin. Flynn has denied taking Kremlin cash
for his appearance. But a source told Panorama that a typical fee
would be tens of thousands of dollars. I didn't take any money
from Russia. Well then who paid you? My speaker's pure row. Ask them. --
bureau. Ask them. Number three, Steve Bannon, Trump's new chief
strategist and the former editor of the controversial right-wing website
Breitbart. He has sympathy with some of Putin's ideology, especially the
Kremlin's line on how to fight Isis. They have a Twitter account up today
about turning the United States in a river of blood and trust me, that is
going to come to Europe. On top of that, we're now, I believe, at the
beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism. Here's that
thought translated into Trump speak. I would bomb the hit out of them.
On Syria, throughout the campaign, Trump has more supportive of
Piutau's approach than Obama's. But the problem with fighting Isis the
Kremlin's way, in places like Aleppo, is that you end up bombing
civilians who have nothing to do with Isis. Putin's guru is delighted
with Trump's line on Syria. He see it's as part of a new global
movement. Trump is realist. Putin is realist. I think his election, it is
sign of the choice, historical choice of American people in favour
of realist attitude towards international relations instead of
liberal or globalist. Both Trump and Putin see themselves as strong
leaders who put national interests above all. The man Trump wanted as
our ambassador to the States has a handle on what's behind the new
world order. So, why do people on the right admire Vladimir Putin? I
think it's a question of people who believe in nation-state democracy
have admiration for Vladimir Putin. What we've had is decades of our
political leaders effectively trying to get rid of nation-state
democracy. What you saw in 2016 was nation-state democracy making a
comeback. Is Russia a democracy? Not properly, no. Is Russia is a
democracy? Not a proper democracy as we understand, it no. Democracy is
under fire in Russia. Since Putin came to power more than 20
opposition figures and journalists have been killed. If you care about
democracy this is an important place, the Kremlin is 100 yards away
and it was here almost two years ago that Boris Nantsov was shot dead.
People ask questions about Vladimir Putin's commitment to democracy. But
please be careful and you could not teach us democracy because you
trying to impose to every people, every state American system of
values without asking, it is absolutely racist. You are racist.
In Russia the pro-Kremlin camp doesn't like to be challenged. If
you're critical of Vladimir Putin you may end up dead. If you, for
example, if you are engaged in WikiLeaks, you can be murdered.
Julian Assange is dead, is he? Not, but - So hold on a second, please
tell me about Boris Nemtsov, he was murdered 100 yards... By Putin? He
was critical of Putin. Can you tell me, can you list the number of
American journalists who have died under Obama. It's completely stupid
kind of conversation. OK. Please, very nice to meet you, but I don't
like to continue. So do you think Mr Trump will make the world a safer
place? After he walked out of our interview Mr Dugin posted a blog in
which he accused me of making fake news. He called me a repulsive
bustard, utter cretin and globalist cien. Such is the new world order.
In America you can hear the echo of Russian politics. You are fake news.
I'd like to punch him in the face. Get him out. I don't know if it
would have gone well... I think democracy is in trouble. I think the
example Trump set in the way he conducted and ran his campaign, his
use of open lies, fake news, the hint of violence, I think all of
this was incredibly damaging to democracy. They'd be carried out on
a stretcher folks. What's interesting about Trump is, one of
the great comments of the whole US campaign was that you should take
Trump seriously but not literally. That comes right through that
campaign. Trump may have his reasons for
playing nice with Putin. Here in Ukraine, you can see why Putin might
want to get along with Trump. After Russia annexed Crimea, part of
Ukraine, in 2014, the West imposed sanctions on Russia, which cost the
country $160 billion and hurt Putin too. But that didn't stop Putin
sending his ghost army into the east, soldiers disguised as
volunteers. Today, the war continues. How far is the frontline
from here? TRANSLATION: The enemy's on two
sides from us. They're close. Sometimes very close. Who's driving
this war? TRANSLATION: It's Russia controlling
them and they're Russia's pawns. Keep low, move fast. And we're
moving because there's a bit of a firefight behind us. Incoming, you
can hear the crack. The young have deserted the village of Vodinoe,
only the old remain. I asked this man what it's like living on the
frontline. TRANSLATION: My children will say
Russian fascists killed their Ukrainian father. Sometimes it's so
frightening. Two weeks ago, after artillery fire, my wife suffered a
stroke. Two years on, and nearly 10,000
dead. There's no sign to the end of fighting here in Eastern Ukraine.
The fear is, with Donald Trump in the Whitehouse, the prospects for
peace are even further away than ever. Does the Donald give a damn? I
don't like what's happening with Ukraine. That's really a problem
that affects Europe a lot more than us. They should be leading some of
this charge. You wouldn't allow Ukraine either? I would not care
that much to be honest with you, whether it goes in or doesn't go in.
I wouldn't care. Russia denies they're the aggressor in Ukraine. In
2014, I caught up with President Putin in Siberia and challenged him.
Do you regret the killings in the Ukraine?
TRANSLATION: The main problem is that the authorities in Kiev do not
want a political dialogue with the east of their country. In Moscow
today the line remains - Russia has done nothing wrong. There is no
Russian aggression. No agenda for a greater Russia? No agenda for
greater Russia. We want to have strong and self-sufficient country.
But there are no plans for any expansion of Russia. Will America
change tack on Ukraine? This week Trump has said in return for a
nuclear weapons deal he might lift sanctions. Trump has to be mindful
of Russia's very clear interests in Ukraine and how their politics
ultimately play out. I do think that there are some thorny issues
regarding Crimea, regarding Ukraine that Trump is going to have to work
through with Putin. They are within the sphere of influence of his
country. They're on his borders. He has every right to have concerns
about them and what we're doing in these regards. But if Donald Trump
turns a blind eye to Russian War mongering and lifts sanctions, the
Kremlin might see it as a green light to exert its power further
West. I haven't been sleeping well since the invasion of Crimea. I have
since then begun to worry about what Russia's aims are in Europe. And
about the possibility of a nuclear clash or conventional clash of an
incredibly dangerous kind in the Baltic states in Central Europe and
in Ukraine. Having Trump in the White House doesn't make me feel
better. Even if the dossier is a pack of lies, it could change
things. Trump is sounding tougher on Russia's actions in Syria. It can't
let it look like Putin has a hold over him. Do you honestly believe
that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this
room really believe that? If Putin is blackmailing Trump that's no
basis for a stable relationship. If he's not, you still can't rule out a
clash. They both seem like rather Brittle personalities when it comes
to being challenged. We've seen that in Trump and we've certainly seen it
in Putin. So I think I would not want to see these two get into some
kind of a macho shootout. Whatever the truth, Trump's locked in a
strange embrace with Vladimir Putin. An ally who could so easily become
an adversary. If the bromance ends and President Donald Trump falls out
with President Putin then to put it mildly, that's not good. We face a
prospect of a brand new Cold War, colder than ever before.
That I will faithfully execute the Office...
And will to the best of my ability...
The Constitution of the United States...
In the week of the new President's inauguration, Panorama reports on Russia's role in Donald Trump's election victory and asks what's behind the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Trump. Reporter John Sweeney - who has met and challenged both men - travels to Moscow and the United States to find out how sure we can be that Russian cyber-warriors influenced the US election and if there's any truth to claims that Russian intelligence has compromising material about the President elect. And from Lithuania and the battlefields of Ukraine, he investigates what this will mean for security in Europe and the rest of the world.