( CNN) It’s not impossible that the United States, much of the world, or even the Kremlin have been looking at the Trump-Putin lovefest through the wrong aim of the telescope. Why not investigate just how Donald Trump might play Vladimir Putin?

Everyone presumes the Russian President has been and will continue to be calling the shoots in a Trump relationship. Surely, as the US Intelligence Community Assessment released Friday observed, “Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” Which should suggest that Putin holds all the cards — he arguably played a major role in electing Donald Trump as president.