The amount of convincing evidence showing how Russia bailed out Donald Trump is rapidly increasing. And according to Foreign Policy Magazine, this new evidence will soon bring the president much more trouble than he currently has.
Foreign Policy (FP) reported that before he ran for president, Trump and his family didn’t even attempt to hide their substantial debts to Russia.
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump, Jr. said in 2008. Remarkably, Trump Sr. was able to lie about his Russian dealings during his 2016 campaign and get away with it.
Alan Lapidus, who for many years was Trump’s architect, told FP that after Trump had serious financial troubles, including bankruptcy filings, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the president was desperate for money. According to Lapidus:
“Trump could not get anybody in the United States to lend him anything” — and so all the money to fund his mid-2000s projects came out of Russia.”
“His involvement with Russia was deeper than he’s acknowledged,” Lapidus added.
Another former Trump business associate told FP anonymously that most of what he called “the overseas money” was given to Trump in real-estate deals and the purchase of condos.
The associate told FP:
“He was saying to himself, ‘What else could I do in the world? I’ll just convince people to buy my brand. And the only people who were willing to buy it were tasteless Russians, people who like the absurd, ostentatious gold-leaf lifestyle he has. You’re not going to sell that brand to blue bloods in Greenwich, Connecticut.”
Trump biographer Gwenda Blair talked about his miraculous recovery from bankruptcy and mountains of debt that threatened to bury his entire business empire:
“Trump was on the Titanic heading down. Everyone’s drowning around him. … Suddenly he gets saved. It’s almost like a spaceship landed right next to where he was in the water.”
“By the time he ran for president, Trump had been enmeshed in this mysterious overseas flow of capital for a decade and a half,” the FP report noted.
Yet the source of the money coming to Trump wasn’t really that mysterious. Most investigators believed the source included money launderers from Russia and former Soviet republics who bought up dozens of his condos at inflated prices.
Purchasing real estate properties with cash is a loophole in the laws against laundering money, and Trump took advantage of that loophole as he took millions of dollars in cash from shady Russians involved in organized crime. In fact, receiving and laundering illicit cash was one of the top revenue-generating activities of Trump’s business for the two decades before he ran for president.
According to FP, “federal and congressional investigators are now focused on the Trump Organization as much as the president himself in probing alleged Russian influence.”
A Capitol Hill staffer told FP:
“Our broader concern is the extent to which the Trump Organization has received an influx of foreign sources of money over the years, and if that continues to compromise the president.”
Be sure that federal prosecutors, including Bob Mueller, know exactly “the extent to which the Trump Organization has received an influx of foreign sources of money over the years.” They also know that it “continues to compromise the president.” So does Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
As FP points out:
“One question Mueller must certainly be probing is whether the relationships made Trump beholden to certain Russians—and whether the outreach by Russian business people to Trump and his organization reflects Kremlin tradecraft for developing intelligence assets and compromising them.”
In other words, there is pretty strong evidence that Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian intelligence asset. The Russians ‘bought’ him decades ago, so when he was elected president (with their help) it was time for them to get the return on their investment for which they had waited so patiently for so many years.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.