Putin’s patience paid off big when Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency of the United States. Everyone in the US thought, believed and saw it as a joke. Putin wasn’t laughing; he saw a golden opportunity. At first, the Kremlin didn’t know what to make of that opportunity. On the campaign trails, Trump sounded more like a lunatic than someone who wanted to become president. In the beginning, Putin didn’t give much stock to Trump’s candidacy but when it became clear that his unorthodox approach was gathering steam, the Kremlin began to strategize how best to leverage Trump. By the time Trump had won the GOP nomination, there were already backchannel communications with the Kremlin regarding the possibility of a Trump presidency. Although it’s still unclear whether a direct (person to person) conversation with Donald Trump in regards to the election took place, it is nevertheless certain that through intermediaries, Vladimir Putin proposed to assist Trump win the general election. Trump was still conflicted whether he really wanted to be president or he was making a mistake to go forward with his campaign but his ego had already taken the best of him. – the country has the other candidates to blame for that – He wrangled with Jeb Bush, he insulted Ben Carson, he went to war (of words) with Marco Rubio and fought tooth and nails with Ted Cruz. Despite a concerted effort by both Republican Leaders and Democrats and a barrage of negative coverage – to no fault of the press – Mr. Trump came out of the primaries victorious albeit with a lot of bruises and scratches.