I don't think Trump set out to win the election.
He had Russian money flowing in into his various real estate
holdings. Curiosity got the best of him and he took the beauty pagent
to Russia to build connections and get more of that Ruble pie. In
exchange the Russians wanted the sanctions lifted. Exxon/Gazprom deal
worth trillions (!!) was at stake. Trump said he'll run and make the
sanctions go away. Who knows if the Russians gave him a cut of the
In the more likely scenario where he lost he would build a media
empire given his success at 'The Apprentice'. The target audience
would be hardcore fringe goups who aren't catered to by the
"Mainstream". That's where Banon enters the picture. He would forever
play the victim to "The Establishment" and "The Fake Media" and hawk
his "Trump" tchotchke to the faithful.
The Russians were a little too successful. Trump won. Now he has to
deliver what he promised.
He hired Rex Tillerson - one half of the Exxon/Gazprom deal, Wilbur
Ross - of Navigation Holdings fame and Flynn - a mercinary
wannabe. Put Sessions in charge to make sure the DoJ didn't go
sniffing where Trump didn't want them to. But Sally Yates thew a
wrench in the works by going public about Flynn. Flynn had to be fired
under a pretense of lying to Pence.
Meanwhile Preet Bharara was getting too close to the Deutsche Bank
laundry. And since he's not a Fed, presendential pardons don't
work. So he had to be fired.
Sessions had to recuse himself to maintain any semblence of
normalcy. That was the biggest breach of the Trump moat. Trump
realized it and Sessions was in the dog house for the longest time.
In the meantime, House and Senate passed bills for sanctions against
Russia. Has Trump imposed them? I am fairly certain that the answer is
no. Why? Can you say Gazprom?
Trump is under the Mueller microscope because he won. Had he lost the
election, he would be running a big media outlet playing the victim
and raking in dollars - and possibly rubles on the side. His only
exposure was Preet Bharara. He could have gotten away.
Trump won. He's now being investigated for all sorts of shady
deals. Now he's lost. Cadmean Victory.