This video put out by the Clinton campaign is brutally effective, and even more so because it's true.
Here's the former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell, explaining just how awful Trump's embrace of Putin is within the intelligence establishment. Holy cow, folks.
"The dangers that flow from Mr. Trump’s character are not just risks that would emerge if he became president," writes Morell. "It is already damaging our national security."
Morell specifically points at Vladimir Putin. "President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them...Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated," he wrote.
After pointing out Trump's affinity for Russian policies over American national security, Morell dropped the hammer.
"In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation," he concludes.
Trump had a response worthy of the 5-year old bully in the sandbox that he is.
Hillary Clinton has bad judgment and is unfit to serve as President.https://t.co/3EzG620fpT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2016
That claim is highly debatable.
Right wing sites are dismissing claims of Putin ties as left-wing "conspiracy theories," but this New Yorker article comports with what has been reported elsewhere; namely, that Trump desperately wanted to expand his business into Russia, that he has entered into partnerships with Russian oligarchs, and generally is quite open to being pals with Putin.
The fellow-feeling between the two is complex, but it is not hard to see who gets the better of whom. Trump sees strength and cynicism in Putin and hopes to emulate him. Putin sees in Trump a grand opportunity. He sees in Trump weakness and ignorance, a confused mind. He has every hope of exploiting him.
It is going to be very difficult for Trump to walk back from his ties with Putin, and that's before any details about the DNC email hack become public.