Russia compiles psychological dossier on Trump for Putin

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MOSCOW — A dossier on Donald Trump's psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.

Trump "doesn't understand fully who is Mr. Putin — he is a tough guy," former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News.

The file is being compiled by retired diplomats and some of Putin's staff, he added.

The attempt to get inside the U.S. president's mind is aimed at helping Putin plan for his first meeting with America's new leader, the date for which is yet to be decided.

"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."

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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Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin through the years
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Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin through the years
U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) looks back at U.S. President Barack Obama (L) as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit plenary session at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake, in Beijing, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (NORTHERN IRELAND - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin prior to a working session at the Group of 20 (G20) leaders summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey, November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Kayhan Ozer/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. security advisor Susan Rice (2nd L) prior to the opening session of the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders summit summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey November 15, 2015. Man at 2nd R is unidentified. REUTERS/Cem Oksuz/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they gather for a family photo with fellow world leaders at the start of the G20 summit at the Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC Economic Leadersâ Meeting in Lima, Peru November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A huge video screen on Sword Beach shows U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin as they arrive for the International 70th D-Day Commemoration Ceremony in Ouistreham June 6, 2014. World leaders and veterans gathered by the beaches of Normandy on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings that helped turn the tables in World War Two. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds out his arms as he walks past U.S. President Barack Obama (centre L) during a group photo at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013. Above Obama is British Prime Minister David Cameron, above Putin is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At right is Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (RUSSIA - Tags: TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY BUSINESS POLITICS)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes U.S. President Barack Obama before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), British Prime Minister David Cameron (C) and U.S. President Barack Obama take part in a group photo for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (NORTHERN IRELAND - Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012. The leaders are in Los Cabos to attend the G20 summit. REUTERS/Jason Reed (MEXICO - Tags: POLITICS)
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Putin's government is growing increasingly concerned about Trump's battles in Washington, according to Fedorov and former lawmaker Sergei Markov, who remains well-connected at the Kremlin.

It is worried the president will not have the political power to improve relations with Russia, as he has indicated he might try to do, and even, perhaps, lift some U.S. sanctions.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia conducted a covert hacking operation to undermine the U.S. election process, which evolved into an attempt to help Trump win the White House. They also believe with "a high level of confidence" that Putin became personally involved in the campaign to interfere in the election.

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.

During the election campaign, Trump spoke fondly of Putin. But earlier this month, Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that while he respects Putin "that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him."

Meanwhile, the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election has won bipartisan support.

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."

13 PHOTOS
Scenes from President Trump's 2/16 press conference
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Scenes from President Trump's 2/16 press conference
US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on February 16, 2017, at the White House in Washington, DC. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on February 16, 2017, at the White House in Washington, DC. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
CNN reporter Jim Acosta (Rear) listens to a question from Fox News Channel reporter John Roberts during a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Vice Preisdent Mike Pence (L) and other White House staff and advisors including counselor Kellyanne Conway (R) listen during a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (C) laughs along with Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) during a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Reporters shout questions during a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Omarosa (C), White House director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, takes a selfie prior to a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Vice President Mike Pence (L-R), Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Special Assistant Boris Epshteyn (R) all laugh at a response from U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
CNN reporter Jim Acosta asks a question during a news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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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."

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