Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 15, 2017.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
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"Very serious preparatory work is going on in the Kremlin, including a paper — seven pages — describing a psychological portrait of Trump, especially based on this last two to three months, and the last weeks,” added Fedorov, who said he has known Trump since 2000.
The dossier was being revised regularly, he said, adding that many in the Kremlin believed that Trump viewed the presidency as a business.
Fedorov added: “Trump is not living in a box — he is living in a crowd. He should listen to the people around him especially in the areas where he is weak.”
"Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first”
It is normal for any president or leader to be fully briefed before entering negotiations for the first time with a rival leader, but preparing a detailed dossier on the mind and instincts of a U.S. leader is unusual.
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The White House's connection with the Kremlin — and how deep it runs — remains under scrutiny, which has only ramped up last week when Mike Flynn resigned from his role as national security adviser after admitting to misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States in December.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no government or diplomatic experience, but boasts exceptionally close ties with Moscow and Putin.
And former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — who resigned in August amid questions about his ties to pro-Russia interests in Ukraine — told NBC News last week that he had "no contact knowingly with Russian intelligence officials." Manafort was reportedly one of the Trump campaign officials whose communications were investigated by the FBI, according to The New York Times.
The issue of Russia "is now a kind of banana skin for Trump — that's why we should avoid any kind of step that could damage Trump," said Fedorov. "Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first."
Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."
The U.S. president "is dancing on thin ice," he said. "It's a risky game."
A former prime minister under Putin said the Kremlin is taking no pleasure at Trump’s struggles.
"Absolutely not — not laughing," Mikhail Kasyanov said. "The situation is very serious and the whole of [Putin’s] team, they are nervous.”
Many in the Kremlin believe hardliners in America — in Congress and the military — want to sabotage the president and his plans for better ties with Russia.
Some even talk of a conspiracy against Trump. Markov, the former lawmaker, told NBC News that he believes America's intelligence services "want to overthrow President Trump in a coup" because of his desire to improve relations with Russia.
Flynn was a victim of U.S. intelligence services, according to Markov.
So while many in Russia celebrated Trump's election, the mood in Moscow was changing from delight at Trump's election to doubt about his ability to deliver on a better relationship with Russia, he added.
"Donald Trump has done nothing good for Russia, nothing," Markov said. "But they already attack him."
Bill Neely is NBC News' chief global correspondent. He joined NBC News from Britain’s ITV News in January 2014. His reports from across the globe have earned many awards, including an unprecedented three consecutive BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Oscars, for his work in China, Haiti, and the U.K.