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“Look at Putin – what he’s doing with Russia – I mean, you know, what’s going on over there. I mean this guy has done – whether you like him or don’t like him – he’s doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period,”Trump to Larry King on CNN - October 2007
“I think I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so.”Trump - July 31, 2015
The pairing of a target with a (dis)liked person not only affects the evaluation of the previously neutral person but spreads to other individuals who are (pre)associated with the target (spreading attitude effect).
“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,”
But what would be illegitimate, and perhaps even treasonous, is an effort to soften American policy toward Russia’s actions in its near abroad without a clearly stated policy rationale and in return for help from Russian intelligence in defeating a domestic political opponent. “Promise to help us in Ukraine and we’ll help you win against Hillary Clinton by releasing stolen emails that make her look bad”: That and other possible acts of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign are what the FBI is investigating.Damon Linker - The Week
“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell - (A prominent Clinton Backer)