With Donald Trump, it’s all about the money. I firmly believe he is up to his ears in debt to Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin and has no way to pay them back except to offer favors. Those include lifting sanctions and dangling the prospect of a posh penthouse at the top of the Trump tower he was planning to build in Moscow.
It explains why Trump has been so deferential to Putin. It has little or nothing to do with any disparaging video, which may or may not exist. Trump knows if Putin or his oligarchs get upset enough, they can expose his charade as a wealthy and savvy businessman. Not only that, there have been numerous instances of late that demonstrate what happens to people who fall out of favor with the Russian mafia. He may well fear for his life.
Trump not only uses fear to rile his base. Fear dogs his every move.