There’s so much to digest in the leaked intelligence report on Donald Trump’s connections to Vladimir Putin and Russia that I feel like I’m drinking from a firehouse. I want to just throw one quick thing at you. I noticed the following excerpt about an alleged meeting in Prague between Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Russian operatives that was supposed to have occurred in late August or possibly the first week in September.

I was intrigued at the idea that Putin might utilize a member of the Duma to provide plausible deniability about official communications with the Trump campaign, so I looked to see what I could find about Konstantin Kosachev and whether he was active in talking up Trump and talking down Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Amazingly, I found a TASS article published just yesterday where Kosachev was quite vocally trashing Obama and crowing about the demise of the United States as a global leader and “winner” of the Cold War.

Barack Obama’s efforts to pin the Democratic Party’s defeat in the US presidential election on Russia and its leader indicate the complete failure of Washington’s policy of hegemony, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said.

“Obama’s desperate efforts to pin his defeat on the Russian president just seem to be a banal attempt at settling scores. But in fact this indicates the utter failure of America’s hegemonic policies and more important systemic shifts in global politics rather than Trump’s victory over Clinton,” the Russian senator wrote on his Facebook page.

He went on:

According to Kosachev, during the past 25 years, US presidents have made a number of serious mistakes concerning world politics which lead to global instability. In particular, in the senator’s words, the US considered itself to be a “winner” eligible to impose its will on the world after the Cold War had ended, while it was not ready to build cooperation with its former rivals. “The US and its staunch allies have been plagued by fatal mistakes in a growing number of global scenarios which are becoming more and more unpredictable and devastating,” the Russian senator added.

And then the capper:

“However, the world cannot remain an eternal hostage to America’s blunders, the US version of the Western leadership has failed completely. Obama is not just a president losing an election, he is a symbol of a post-Cold-War era coming to an end,” Kosachev noted.

“Let us hope that unlike his failed predecessors, Trump understands that there is no sense in maintaining the logic of winners and losers,” the Russian senator concluded.

That sounds a lot like a man who may have worked to elect Trump in order to destroy American leadership, win a lifting of crippling economic sanctions on Russia, raise the price of oil and gas, and then be at pains to deny his role in the whole affair.

It’s just one piece, but it’s a piece that deserves deep inspection by our Congress and our intelligence agencies.

Of course, Michael Cohen took to Twitter to rebut the charge that he visited Prague, but there was just one little problem with his argument.

The intelligence report first reported that the meeting with Cohen took place in an “operationally soft” country in the European Union because it was considered too “hot” to meet with him in Moscow. Only later did the report offer intelligence that the meeting had been in the Czech Republic. This will all need to be cleared up, but Cohen’s denials aren’t going to be sufficient. We need his full itinerary.

Needless to say, if the allegations in this report are true, Donald Trump cannot be our president.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at