The Kremlin is beginning to worry about relations under a weakened Trump.
The Russian government is reportedly attempting to get inside the mind of President Donald Trump in a dossier detailing his psychological traits.
CNBC says that a team of retired diplomats and Putin staffers are busily compiling a seven-page “portrait” of Trump’s mental state to present to Russian President Vladimir Putin before their first meeting, for which no date has yet been set.
Former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News that the dossier is being regularly revised and is meant to reflect Trump’s psyche in recent months. The paper so far reportedly concludes that Trump is prone to taking risks and has displayed naïveté.
“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,” NBC quoted Fedorov as saying.
Many in the Kremlin share the view that the U.S. President views his job as a business, he said, and Putin and his staff are “nervous” about Trump’s early stumbles because they could indicate that he is too weak to implement policy changes that Russia would favor.
“Trump is not living in a box—he is living in a crowd,” said the former diplomat, who said he has known Trump for more than a decade. “He should listen to the people around him, especially in the areas where he is weak.”
The administration’s ties to Russia have come under increased scrutiny recently following a New York Times report that said members of Trump’s campaign were in regular contact with senior Russian intelligence officials.
Michael Flynn also resigned as Trump’s National Security Adviser after admitting that he misled officials about a phone call with the Russian Ambassador.
Trump has repeatedly spoken favorably of Putin, and while he has dialed back his praise of the Russian strongman he has refrained from any real criticism of Russia in the wake of the controversy.
Fedorov told NBC that Russian officials now worry that Trump could be viewed as too friendly to the Kremlin, which could weaken his standing among members of Congress and lessen the chance of a thaw in relations.
“Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser,” Fedorov said. “He must sort out his domestic problems first.”