A shocking video has come to light showing US President Donald Trump surreptitiously receiving a flash drive from a Russian agent. The contents of the drive have now been revealed to be blackmail material and a “wishlist” of proposed American policies from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The video was recorded in 2016 during the inaugural parade for the newly elected President Trump, and shows then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John M. Richardson handing a flash drive to the President. Admiral Richardson removes the drive from his pocket and conceals it in the palm of his hand, and then turns to the parade to salute passing service members. He then passes the drive to the President while shaking hands. Without any reaction President Trump takes the drive and places it in his own pocket. Admiral Richardson then repeats the action with Vice President Mike Pence, giving him his own drive.
The FBI had been investigating the incident for the past three and a half years, eventually concluding Admiral Richardson was relaying information from the Kremlin to President Trump. Admiral Richardson, who was appointed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Obama in 2015, was subsequently forced to retire after three years of intense questioning by the FBI and other agencies. It was believed that a quiet retirement would be better than exposing one of the most senior American military officers as a Russian agent. Richardson is now on the Board of Directors of Boeing.
Although not previously mentioned in relation to the President’s impeachment or other investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, sources say the video and subsequent investigation are at the heart of doubts about President Trump’s loyalties.
Admiral Richardson has been involved in numerous scandals over the past decade, including the separate collisions of two vessels resulting in the deaths of 17 sailors, a cheating scandal at the Naval Nuclear Power School, an accidental incursion into Iran by the Navy resulting in the capture of 10 sailors, and a litany of other failures. Despite this, Admiral Richardson was able to convince the President to keep him on as CNO, and law enforcement officials are now wondering whether these incidents are due to Admiral Richardson’s deliberate neglect.