The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported a three part documentary series on the President, his campaign, and its connections to Russia entitled Trump/Russia: Follow the Money.
The first part aired last Monday and can be found here. Or on ABC’s iView platform (flash player required). A full transcript for the first episode is available at the link for the first episode. Here’s ABC’s synopsis for their documentary series and an excerpt of their interview with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper from the transcripts of the first episode.
It’s the story of the century: The US President and his connections to Russia.
In a Four Corners special series, award winning investigative reporter Sarah Ferguson follows the spies and the money trail from Washington, to London, to Moscow.
In this three-part series, Four Corners delivers a riveting account of the allegations and evidence from the characters central to the drama that has gripped the world.
On Monday night, the story begins:
Follow the Money: Four Corners follows the money trail from New York to Moscow, tracking the ties between Trump, his business empire and Russia.
Secrets, spies and useful idiots: in part two, Four Corners speaks to key protagonists at the centre of the unfolding drama over members of the Trump team accused of being compromised by Russia.
Moscow Rules: in part three, Four Corners investigates the central allegations that members of the Trump team, including possibly the President himself, actively colluded with Russia to subvert American democracy.
Months in the making, filmed across the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia, Sarah Ferguson charts the extraordinary allegations, interrogating the evidence and interviewing central characters in this unfolding story that could be lifted from the pages of a blockbuster spy novel.
A three-part investigative special series reported and presented by Sarah Ferguson, begins Monday 4th June at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 5th June at 1.00pm and Wednesday 6th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: It starts with a road trip across America in 2014.
Before the US Presidential campaign was underway, before Donald Trump was a serious candidate, two Russian spies were criss-crossing the country, gathering intelligence on the US political system, looking for and finding vulnerabilities.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, US DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Two of the defendants allegedly travelled to the United States in 2014 to collect intelligence for their American influence operations.
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: Initially, and traditionally, these kinds of operations are very innocent in their overt behaviour and appearance.
But that was just kind of foundation building.
Establish a presence, get online, and again, for a long time it would appear to be innocent. But it turns out after time that they weren’t.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: The spies were the forward team from the infamous Internet Research Agency in Saint Petersburg the front-line organisation in Vladimir Putin’s asymmetrical war against US democracy.
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: For me, I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff in 50 years in Intelligence, but it’s very, very disturbing, just viscerally disturbing that an adversary country was aggressive, so aggressively meddling in our political process.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: What was different when you say viscerally disturbing? What was different?
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: I came to understand the magnitude and the aggressiveness and the dimensions of this, it was viscerally, you know, made me ill.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: It made you ill?
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: Yeah.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: Did you share that with your colleagues?
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: Yes. I think it affected all of us that way.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: The spies left America undetected the intelligence they gathered would fuel the cyber war in the coming Presidential election.
SERGEY ALEKSASHENKO, FORMER DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, CENTRAL BANK OF RUSSIA: The idea, underlying idea of Mr Putin was to disturb the situation as much as possible.
To create different tensions, points of tensions, points of social discontent, of political fighting. So, to create turbulence in the stable society.
To make America weak.
The idea of Donald Trump to make America great again, the idea of Vladimir Putin to make American institutions weaker.
SARAH FERGUSON, REPORTER: Do you have any doubt at all about Putin’s authorship of the campaign against America?
JAMES CLAPPER, US DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2010-2017: I do not.
You have to remember, Putin’s personal history.
He’s a KGB officer.
And so, I think there’s an innate resentment and aversion to the United States and what we stand for and our system.
Part two airs tonight (Australian time) at this link and focuses on, among others, Carter Page and George Papadopolous. Here’s their extended interview with Carter Page from tonight’s episode:
And here’s their extended interview with Tim O’Brien, one of the President’s biographers, discussing the way the President conducts business:
Part three should air next week.
I expect Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow will be on CNN any minute now condemning Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull for allowing Australia’s national and government funded broadcaster to undermine the President 1/2 an hour before he meets one on one with Kim Jung On and only a pair of interpreters.