The New York Times sends its pieces to US government for approval.
Trump has already done a lot for Russia by reviewing relations with US-allied transatlantic partners, trying to impose his will on them and making them publicly acknowledge their status of American vassals.
Conspiracy theory without evidence.
This message is consistent with a classic pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on US relations with EU countries. Pro-Kremlin outlets often allege that different countries, US' transatlantic allies in this case, are US vassals and remain under the American thumb. See earlier examples: Poland is US's vassal state, Europe is occupied by the US and has limited sovereignty, the EU is directed by Washington, Germany is the executor of US hegemony over Europe.