Putin Has 'Grip' on 'Frightened' Trump, Former Fox News Analyst Says

Retired lieutenant colonel Ralph Peters, who quit his Fox News analyst gig after accusing the network of barring him from speaking on Russia because he wouldn’t support President Donald Trump, said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “has a grip” on Trump.

Related: Ex-Fox News Analyst ‘Blocked From Speaking’ on Russia Because He Wouldn’t 'Unswervingly Support' Trump, He Says

“I am convinced that Vladimir Putin has a grip on President Trump,” Peters said on CNN Wednesday night, adding that the Steele dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians “rang true to me, because that’s how the Russians do things.”

“Before he became a candidate or president, Donald Trump was the perfect target for Russian intelligence. Here is someone who has no self-control, a sense of sexual entitlement and intermittent financial crisis," Peters said. "I mean, that’s made-to-order for seduction by Russian intelligence.”

Peters, who did not renew his contract with Fox News on March 1, said he hoped his suspicions were wrong.

“But when you look at Trump's behavior patterns, his unwillingness ever to criticize Vladimir Putin, his slow-rolling sanctions, his unwillingness to create problems with Russia, even though as he attacks NATO, disrupts the relations with the E.U.,” Peters continued. “How can you not draw the conclusions that Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is frightened of Vladimir Putin and his grip?”

Peters claimed that he was the only person on the network’s payroll trained in the Russian language and affairs, and that he had personally met Russian intelligence  officials, in an op-ed published in The Washington Post in late March.

The retired Army officer said that he was “increasingly blocked from speaking” about Russian matters in fall 2016, when Trump became enveloped with national security issues.

“I did not hide my views at Fox and, as word spread that I would not unswervingly support President Trump and, worse, that I believed an investigation into Russian interference was essential to our national security, I was excluded from segments that touched on Vladimir Putin’s possible influence on an American president, his campaign or his administration,” Peters stated in his op-ed.

A Fox News spokesperson in an emailed statement to Newsweek at the time said there was “no truth” to Peters’s claims.

Peters was suspended from Fox News for a couple weeks in 2015 after using profane words to slam former President Barack Obama.

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