Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?
Trump: The Kremlin Candidate? is a documentary film first broadcast by the program Panorama on BBC One, examining links between Trump associates and Russian officials and the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. It features investigative journalist John Sweeney, who journeyed to Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and the United States during the course of his research. The documentary first aired in the United Kingdom on 16 January 2017, four days before the Inauguration of Donald Trump. Sweeney had prior experience on the subject matter, having interviewed Trump in 2013, and Putin in 2014. The film was directed by Matthew Hill, Tomiko Newson, and Nick Sturdee.
Throughout the documentary, Sweeney interviews intelligence and security analysts including John E. McLaughlin and Malcolm Nance, individuals with prior ties to Putin such as Aleksandr Dugin, and British and Russian political analysts including Roger Stone and Konstantin Kosachev. The documentary analyzes potential damaging information about Trump from the Donald Trump–Russia dossier, and assesses whether Russian intelligence has blackmail in the form of kompromat which they could use to manipulate him. The film describes Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and discusses whether Russian cyberwarfare impacted the elections. Finally, the documentary posits how a potential fallout between Trump and Putin could impact worldwide national security.
After the film’s initial release, it was featured at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, in April 2017. The Guardian selected the documentary among “Monday’s best TV”, and The National featured it as “TV Pick of the Day”. The Times Union called the film’s revelations, “shocking and alarming”. The documentary garnered an official response in the form of a critical statement from the Russian Embassy in London; Russia’s state-sponsored outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik News put out critical reports the same day.