Donald trump, inauguration day
US President Donald TrumpReuters

US president-elect Donald Trump may have constantly denied – then partially admitted – that Russia may have helped him get elected, but there was always the question of why Russia would do such a thing. The obvious answer was a grateful Trump would then help Russia either mend ties with the United States, or give the country some lucrative deals.

However, it now seems gratitude may not be the biggest player in this game. According to a CNN report, Russia is in possession of "compromising personal and financial information" about Trump, something both Barack Obama and Trump have been informed about by the US intelligence machinery in a briefing.

The briefing was conducted by National Intelligence director James Clapper, FBI director James Comey, CIA director John Brennan, and NSA director Admiral Mike Rogers, and was based on intelligence provided by a British spy whose work the US intelligence establishment considers "credible." Efforts are currently being made to verify the intelligence this British spy has provided.

The two-page synopsis that informed Obama and Trump of the malicious information on the latter that Russia might have was reportedly been included in the briefing to convey to the leaders the true extent of the damage Russia has apparently done with manipulation of the US electoral process. They released disparaging information selectively on Hillary Clinton to discredit her and get Trump elected. And now they have similar information on Trump. If and when they decide to release it is a question of circumstances.

What this means for Trump, the US and the world

If the allegations turn out to be true, they could have unprecedented ramifications for world politics. For the first time in a long duration will Russia be viewed as having the upper hand over the US – a viewpoint that could have far-reaching effects, right from local financial markets to global politics and trade.

As for Trump being viewed as a puppet would not be something he will agree to, and given the way he has already harmed the US-China ties by acknowledging Taiwan, the steps he could take to dispel the notion could be another diplomatic disaster, or much worse. Meanwhile, the word that is being strictly avoided — at least for now — is "blackmail."

The US, in such a case, will be left introspecting what could have been – what could have happened if they had listened to the voice of reason instead of the ramblings of the business tycoon-turned politician, or if some more people had cast their votes instead of abstaining, or even if Bernie sanders had been the Democratic presidential candidate.