Hillary Clinton has released a new ad that comes within a gnat’s whisker of calling Donald Trump an agent of Russia.

TRANSCRIPT

TEXT: We don’t know why Trump praises Putin.

TRUMP: Putin has been a very strong leader for Russia…

JOE SCARBOROUGH CLIP: He killed journalists that don’t agree with him.

TRUMP: At least he’s a leader.

TEXT: We don’t know why Putin praises Trump.

TRUMP: Putin did call me a genius. He said very nice things about me.

TEXT: We don’t know why they share foreign policies.\

JOE SCARBOROUGH CLIP: Trump always seems to upend American foreign policy tradition in a way that benefits Vladimir Putin.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER CLIP: The prime objective of the foreign policy of Putin has been to destroy NATO.

TRUMP: NATO is obsolete and it’s extremely expensive to the United States.

TEXT: “Trump Campaign Guts GOP’s Anti-Russia Stance on Ukraine” Washington Post, 7/18/26

TEXT: We don’t know why Trump’s top advisers have ties to Putin.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF CLIP: Manafort has represented the pro-Vladimir Putin prime minister, Yanukovych.

TEXT: Trump advisor Michael Flynn “is weirdly, strangely friendly with Vladimir Putin’s regime” Vox, 7/9/16

VIDEO CLIP: Flynn at Vladimir Putin’s table at RT Gala.

TEXT: We don’t know why Russia is trying to influence this election…

EVAN PEREZ CLIP: As far as the DNC hack, there is strong evidence that indicates it is the work of Russian intelligence.

TEXT: or why Donald is inviting them to.

TRUMP: Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.

TEXT: We don’t know how much Trump has invested in Russia…

GEORGE WILL CLIP: That’s perhaps one more reason why we’re not seeing these tax returns, because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs.

TEXT: or how much they’ve invested in him.

JOE SCARBOROUGH CLIP: Is he getting money from Russia? Is his business built on Russian loans.

TEXT: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets… we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Donald Trump, Jr., 2008

TEXT: We don’t know what is going on here, and Donald won’t tell us.

TEXT: We’ll let you guess.

The genesis of this ad goes to a New York Times op-ed by former CIA director, Mike Morell, in which he characterized Trump as an “unwitting agent of the Russa Federation.”

Former Naval War College professor and career intelligence professor, John Schinlder, elaborates:

In today’s New York Times, former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Morell initiated a firestorm by strongly endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. His memorable op-ed didn’t simply back the Democrat, her own grave security lapses notwithstanding. Morell went further, tearing down her Republican opponent as “not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security… he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.”

Normally that would be sufficiently lethal coming from a former CIA director, but Morell kept going, castigating Donald Trump as a pawn of the Kremlin possessing overtly pro-Russian views. He minced no words: “In the intelligence business, we would say that Putin had recruited Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

In a recent column analyzing Trump’s bizarre comments on Crimea and Ukraine, I explained that his falsehoods uttered on national television meant that the GOP’s candidate “Either is clueless about Crimea and Ukraine, being totally unfamiliar with the basic issues, and decided to pontificate on the subject regardless while on national television. Or he is consciously parroting Kremlin propaganda.”

Morell has chosen my second option for Trump, characterizing him as Putin’s man. The term “unwitting agent” is spy-speak for what Lenin (supposedly) famously termed a Useful Idiot, that is, someone who is duped into spouting propaganda that he may not fully understand. This is a harsh assessment but more charitable than the accusation that Trump’s is a witting agent of the Kremlin.

This is the sort of ad you can only run when your opponent is named Donald Trump.

At a time when Hillary Clinton is under fire for her deliberate mishandling of classified information and her own seemingly criminal ties to Russian companies, she managed to take her negative, tie it to Donald Trump’s, set it on fire and chase him down the street.

What is more disturbing is that it is very hard to look at Trump’s behavior and his ties to Russia and conclude anything beyond what this ad hints at. The GOP has nominated as a candidate a man who may very well owe his very financial life to Vladimir Putin and his predecessors.

I’m sure Trump supporters, who are already calling RedState a leftwing site, will claim we are distributing Democrat propaganda. But the fact is you can search our archives as see that we’ve been calling for attention on the ties of Trump and his inner circle for months and pointing out Trump’s slavish adherence to the Moscow party line.

This is quintessential Trumpian behavior. He has now managed to make Hillary look like a better choice on foreign policy than himself to anyone who is paying the least amount of attention.