By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published November 12, 2019
An MSNBC analyst suggested Tuesday that President Trump is a Russian agent who had been compromised "as early as 1977" as a result of his first marriage to Ivana Trump.
While promoting his new book on "Morning Joe," retired U.S. naval intelligence operator Malcolm Nance started by pointing out he's "not a journalist," but said that as a former member of intelligence community, he could "predict" things that his MSNBC colleagues could not, such as Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.
But, when asked what happened in the "prologue" of Trump's political rise, Nance responded by claiming that the then-businessman "had been under Russia intelligence surveillance for a very long time, as early as 1977, with his first wife, Ivana."
"Ivana was from the Czech Republic, which at that time was Czechoslovakia. Their intelligence agency, the STB, had her communications between the United States and the Czech Republic under surveillance and they knew an enormous amount of information about Donald Trump between 1977 and the mid-'80s," Nance said. "And then, in the mid-'80s, Donald was beginning to express interest in building Trump Tower Moscow, but more importantly, there was word from her family that he was trying to consider running for president against George Herbert Walker Bush, who was, of course, the former director of the CIA and the vice president of the United States. So, Russia became very interested in him."
Nance went on to suggest that Trump has been "exploited" by Russia under current President Vladimir Putin as a "useful asset."
Putin's "job was to manipulate people. It was to turn people into traitors," the MSNBC analyst continued. "By 2014, [Trump] was making enormous quantities of money from the Russian oligarchy, but that is when he came to Russia and it became very clear to the Russians, this man can go from a useful idiot... to an unwitting asset where he's being used and he doesn't know it."
Nance went on, "They put a set of rose-colored glasses on his face. Donald Trump sees the world only through Moscow's point of view because he knows that is where an enormous quantity of money that he cannot access exists and would be made available to him. He is a next step, a Russian asset, where he is aware of those activities? [Former Special Counsel] Robert Mueller says yes, that he was well aware that he was going to benefit from Russia."
During the height of the Russia investigation, MSNBC thrived in viewership, particularly its liberal primetime star Rachel Maddow, but even Nance's rhetoric reportedly was too much for the anti-Trump network to handle.
According to journalist Yashar Ali, the network notified show bookers that they had to seek the approval of a higher-ranking booker in order to have Nance on their shows and was later "unbooked" on several MSNBC programs by the top brass during the week the Mueller report was released.
His absence was noticeable enough that some vocal fans voiced their outrage on social media that Nance had gone "missing."
MSNBC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.