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Masha Gessen talks about Trump's strange fascination with Putin

Masha Gessen explains "Putinism" and the odd friendship between Trump and the Russian president.

by Valerie Kipnis
Dec 11 2018, 3:18pm

A series of filings on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn suggest special counsel Robert Mueller is closing in on President Donald Trump's inner circle.

At least 14 Trump associates lied about their contacts with Russian officials, according to a Washington Post investigation — including Cohen, who continued negotiations to build Trump Tower Moscow well into the 2016 campaign, months after he told Congress, under oath, that talks had ended. This stands in stark contrast to what the president has said about his involvement.

It's clear that the Trump campaign's ties to Russia are still front and center for Mueller, so VICE News sat down with Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk about the strange relationship between the two world leaders — and the disintegrating relationship between the two countries.

"Trump very much wants to be liked by Putin and I think sincerely admires him," Gessen said. "Putin doesn't know how to deal with somebody who positions himself like that."

This segment originally aired November 29, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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