Scratch my back and I'll scratch your face comrade

We are sooo naive.

In 1982, I started living full time in Stockholm. Through the course of my work, I was befriended by two gentlemen from the USSR who were working out of their embassy;  Youri and Michael.  One was an out and out trade representative who worked for an unnamed government "organization" in Moscow.  The other one was strictly a spy.  It was a circle.  The spy wanted American technology.  The trade guy wanted to export Soviet Science.  It took only a little time to figure that if you worked with them they had you coming and going;  that is, you would have no access to Soviet inventions and materials if you didn't tell the spy guy what he wanted to know.  The more you did for them, the more you got from them.  The less you have them the more they wanted and their "anxiety" level changed and not for the better.

There are laws about such things.  Very strict laws that haven't change to this day.  A lot has changed politically since then. A lot hasn't.

I stepped my first foot in Moscow when Brezhnev was still alive and remained there for some months until his death and Andropov took over. I was in and out for the next 10 years.  Andropov was KGB through and through but somewhat practical (Gorbachev began his ascent thanks to him). But, trust me, I got a first hand look at how things were.  Very up close and person.

Very popular pin.  I have one and I'm no Trump.
This brings me to Trump and Putin and the Russian way.  This little mutual admiration society between the Donald and Putin is another circle like the one in the first paragraph.  It  may even be sincere.  But the Russian Way rears its head.  There is no way on this earth that ANYTHING that goes on between Trump and Putin, Trump and some Russian Businessman, Trump and anyone goes unnoticed by state security and it come back to you/him/Trump as at one point the "State" will ask to be in that circle.  They may just ask for a little thing;  tickets, a book, a travel mug or it might be a big thing like "would you be so kind as to get something for us, say on the not so up and up front.  Trust me.  It always happens and the "gets" keep getting more and more, well, difficult.

It is hard to figure where Trump is in this circle and if or what the State has asked him for.  But look at it this way:  Trump has huge loans through Russia (this is just a for-instance).  Russia has obviously tinkered with out election. Trump is President and owing to no small help from Russia.

I can hear the telephone call now:  "Mr. President. Congratulations. We are so happy to have such fine friend as President of the United States.  Tell me.  Could we ask a small favor owing to our long friendship and mutual past support"?

Wanna bet?