Think of this as an encyclopedia on Trump’s Russian Connections. I have taken information I researched from a post I wrote when Trump was campaigning and have added new information and videos to show Trump’s connections to Russia as well as flip flopping on whether he knew Putin or not.
Before we get into the numerous lengthy articles showing Trump’s Russian Connections I want to share two YouTube videos – one where Trump himself admits knowing Putin and the other with his son, Donald Jr. in an interview detailing his many trips to Russia.
The next thing I want to share is from USA Today showing the connections going back 30 years, I will continue with all of the documentation and articles I have found from reputable sources and let you make up your own mind. All of the information I am sharing is freely available online I am merely trying to make it easy for people to absorb by putting as much as I could find in one place.
Here is a timeline of Trump’s known connections to Russia:
1987: Trump was invited to Moscow by the Soviet ambassador to the United States to discuss luxury hotel developments. Trump later told Playboy magazine that his plans to build hotels in Moscow failed because the country “was out of control and the leadership knows it.” Four years later, on Christmas Day, the Soviet Union officially dissolved, and Russians who had been allowed to buy state-owned enterprises amassed enormous fortunes.
1996: While wrapping up a series of bankruptcies in New York, Trump talked of building a replica of his Trump Tower in Moscow and traveled there to discuss renovating the Moskva and Rossiya hotels, according to Bloomberg News. The bankruptcies led to a change in Trump’s business model: Instead of building projects from the ground up, he signed licensing agreements that in some cases gave him an ownership stake in properties that bore his name without putting up any of his own money. The Trump Organization continued to seek wealthy investors in Russia.
Dozens of condominiums in Trump World Tower in midtown Manhattan were bought by Russians in the late 1990s, said Dolly Lenz, a real estate broker who sold many of the units. Many buyers sought an audience with Trump, whose business acumen they respected, Lenz said.
Early 2000s: The Trump Organization developed several projects abroad, many of them involving Russian money.
2007: Trump debuted his Trump Super Premium Vodka at the Millionaire’s Fair in Moscow. Large orders for the gold-glazed spirit followed, but the brand fizzled by 2009, according to The New York Times.
2008: Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., told investors in Moscow that the Trump Organization had trademarked the Donald Trump name in Russia and planned to build housing and hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, and sell licenses to other developers, the Russian daily Kommersant reported. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump Jr. said at the time. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Trump Jr. traveled to Russia a half-dozen times in 18 months looking for deals, but none materialized. He said there were plenty of investment opportunities, but the business environment was dangerous and trustworthy partners hard to find. “It really is a scary place,” he said, according to eTurboNews, an online business publication.
2010: Trump’s next big U.S. project, the Trump SoHo in New York, was built with partner Bayrock Group, founded by Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet official.
2013: Trump brought the Miss Universe Pageant to Moscow, funded by $20 million from Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov. The venue was Agalarov’s Crocus City Hall on the outskirts of Moscow. Trump took part in a music video with Agalarov’s son, Emin.
2016: Trump’s presidential campaign manager, Paul Manafort, resigned in August amid reports that he worked on the political campaign of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who had been forced to flee office because of his pro-Russian stance.
Carter Page, a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in Moscow, was a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser until August, when Yahoo News reported that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating whether he had been communicating with Russian officials about lifting U.S. sanctions if Trump became president.
Yes, it’s true that Trump has failed to land a business venture inside Russia. But the real truth is that, as major banks in America stopped lending him money following his many bankruptcies, the Trump organization was forced to seek financing from non-traditional institutions. Several had direct ties to Russian financial interests in ways that have raised eyebrows. What’s more, several of Trump’s senior advisors have business ties to Russia or its satellite politicians.
“The Trump-Russia links beneath the surface are even more extensive,” Max Boot wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “Trump has sought and received funding from Russian investors for his business ventures, especially after most American banks stopped lending to him following his multiple bankruptcies.”
What’s more, three of Trump’s top advisors all have extensive financial and business ties to Russian financiers, wrote Boot, the former editor of the Op Ed page of the Wall Street Journal and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
he most obvious example is Trump Soho, a complicated web of financial intrigue that has played out in court. A lawsuit claimed that the business group, Bayrock, underpinning Trump Soho was supported by criminal Russian financial interests. While its initial claim absolved Trump of knowledge of those activities, Trump himself later took on the group’s principal partner as a senior advisor in the Trump organization.
“Tax evasion and money-laundering are the core of Bayrock’s business model,” the lawsuit said of the financiers behind Trump Soho. The financing came from Russian-affiliated business interests that engaged in criminal activities, it said. “(But) there is no evidence Trump took any part in, or knew of, their racketeering.”
Journalists who’ve looked at the Bayrock lawsuit, and Trump Soho, wonder why Trump was involved at all. “What was Trump thinking entering into business with partners like these?” Franklin Foer wrote in Slate. “It’s a question he has tried to banish by downplaying his ties to Bayrock.”
But Bayrock wasn’t just involved with Trump Soho. It financed multiple Trump projects around the world, Foer wrote. “(Trump) didn’t just partner with Bayrock; the company embedded with him. Bayrock put together deals for mammoth Trump-named, Trump-managed projects—two in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a resort in Phoenix, the Trump SoHo in New York.”
But, as The New York Times has reported, that was only the beginning of the Trump organization’s entanglement with Russian financiers. Trump was quite taken with Bayrock’s founder, Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet-era commerce official originally from Kazakhstan.
“Bayrock, which was developing commercial properties in Brooklyn, proposed that Mr. Trump license his name to hotel projects in Florida, Arizona and New York, including Trump SoHo,” the Times reported. “The other development partner for Trump SoHo was the Sapir Organization, whose founder, Tamir Sapir, was from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.”
Trump was eager to work with both financial groups on Trump projects all over the world. “Mr. Trump was particularly taken with Mr. Arif’s overseas connections,” the Times wrote. “In a deposition, Mr. Trump said that the two had discussed ‘numerous deals all over the world’ and that Mr. Arif had brought potential Russian investors to Mr. Trump’s office to meet him. ‘Bayrock knew the people, knew the investors, and in some cases I believe they were friends of Mr. Arif,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘And this was going to be Trump International Hotel and Tower Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul, etc., Poland, Warsaw.’”
The Times also reported that federal court records recently released showed yet another link to Russian financial interests in Trump businesses. A Bayrock official “brokered a $50 million investment in Trump SoHo and three other Bayrock projects by an Icelandic firm preferred by wealthy Russians ‘in favor with’ President Vladimir V. Putin,’” the Times reported. “The Icelandic company, FL Group, was identified in a Bayrock investor presentation as a ‘strategic partner,’ along with Alexander Mashkevich, a billionaire once charged in a corruption case involving fees paid by a Belgian company seeking business in Kazakhstan; that case was settled with no admission of guilt.”
Trump Soho was so complicated that Bayrock’s finance chief, Jody Kriss, sued it for fraud. In the lawsuit, Kriss alleged that a primary source of funding for Trump’s big projects with Bayrock arrived “magically” from sources in Russia and Kazakhstan whenever the business interest needed funding.
“Over the years, Russian oligarchs, friends of Putin, have financed Trump’s projects and lent billions of dollars to Trump’s enterprises. In 2008, Donald Trump Jr., told a real estate conference ‘Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,’ and continued, ‘we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.’”
“The financial ties don’t end there,” Reich continued. “Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, a longtime consultant to Viktor Yanukovich, the Russian-backed president of Ukraine who was overthrown in 2014, has done multi-million-dollar business deals with Russian oligarchs. Also: Trump’s former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, came up through the ranks at Exxon by managing the company’s Russia account.”
So, beyond the Russian involvement in the election that was calculated to boost Trump into the White House, Reich has some advice for other investigators.
“Follow the money. Always follow the money.” – Robert Reich
Here’s some interesting background information:
1) Trump owes Blackstone/ Bayrock group $560 million dollars (one of his largest debtors and the primary reason he won’t reveal his tax returns)
2) Blackstone is owned wholly by Russian billionaires, who owe their position to Putin and have made billions from their work with the Russian government.
3) Other companies that have borrowed from Blackstone have claimed that owing money to them is like owing to the Russian mob and while you owe them, they own you for many favors.
4) The Russian economy is badly faltering under the weight of its over-dependence on raw materials which as you know have plummeted in the last 2 years leaving the Russian economy scrambling to pay its debts.
5) Russia has an impetus to influence our election to ensure the per barrel oil prices are above $65
6) Russia can’t affordably get at 80% of its oil reserves and reduce its per barrel cost to compete with America at $45 or Saudi Arabia at $39. With Iranian sanctions being lifted Russia will find another inexpensive competitor increasing production and pushing Russia further down the list of suppliers.
As for Iranian sanctions, the 6 countries lifting them allowing Iran to collect on the billions it is owed for pumping oil but not being paid for it. These billions Iran can only get if the Iranian nuclear deal is signed. Trump spoke of ending the deals which would cause oil sales sanctions to be reimposed, which would make Russian oil more competitive.
7) Putin cannot get access to these new cost saving technologies OR outside oil field development money, due to US sanctions on Russia, because of its involvement in Ukrainian civil war.
8) Look for Trump to end sanctions on Russia and to back out of the Iranian nuclear deal, to help Russia rebuild its economy, strengthen Putin and make Tillerson and Trump even richer, thus allowing Trump to satisfy his creditors at Blackstone.
9) With Trump’s fabricated hatred of NATO and the U.N., the Russian military reconstituted, the threat to the Baltic states is real. Russia retaking their access to the Baltic Sea from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and threatening the shipping of millions of cubic feet of natural gas to lower Europe from Scandinavia, would allow Russia to make a good case for its oil and gas being piped into eastern Europe.
Sources: Time Magazine, NY Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian UK.”
President Trump’s son Eric once said that his father got funding for his golf courses from the Russians, according to a report.
Golf writer James Dodson said he hit the links with Eric and Donald at the Trump National Golf Club in Charlotte, N.C., in 2014 when he raised the question of how they found the money to keep developing golf courses when financing was tight during the Recession.
Trump “sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million,” Dodson told WBUR-FM, a Boston public radio station, in an interview that aired Friday.
Later, Dodson, who wrote a biography of Ben Hogan, among other golf books, said he asked Eric the same question as they rode in a golf cart.
Dodson said Eric Trump replied: “ ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’”
Dodson said, “Really?”
Eric continued: “’Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’”
Another video of Trump saying he had a relationship with Putin
There are other Russian business ties to the Trump organization as well. Trump’s first real estate venture in Toronto, Canada, was a partnership with two Russian-Canadian entrepreneurs, Toronto Life reported in 2013.
“The hotel’s developer, Talon International, is run by Val Levitan and Alex Shnaider, two Russian-Canadian entrepreneurs. Levitan made his fortune manufacturing slot machines and creating bank note validation technology, and Shnaider earned his in the post-glasnost steel trade,” it reported.
Finally, for all of his denials of Russian ties lately, Trump has boasted in the past of his many meetings with Russian oligarchs. During one trip to Moscow, Trump bragged that they all showed up to meet him to discuss projects around the globe. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room” just to meet with him, Trump said at the time.
And when Trump built a tower in Panama, his clients were wealthy Russians, the Washington Post reported. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., said at a real estate conference in 2008, according to a trade publication, eTurboNews.
The only instance that Trump acknowledges any sort of Russian financial connection is a Florida mansion he sold to a wealthy Russian. “What do I have to do with Russia?” Trump said in the wake of the DNC hack. “You know the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach, Florida… for $40 million and I sold it to a Russian for $100 million including brokerage commissions.” The Russian NEVER lived in the house…
But it should be obvious to anyone trying to pay attention to these moving targets that Trump is saying one thing and doing something else. When it comes to Trump and Russia, the truth may take awhile to emerge.
Below are more details on the sale of the mansion to the Russian Oligarch
That time a Russian billionaire paid Trump $95 million for a mansion
The Maison de L’Amitie is a massive beachfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida. The 81,738 square foot mansion sits on 6.2 acres — with 475 feet of sandy beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. It belonged to Abraham Gosman, a millionaire who owned health care properties across the country — until he went bankrupt.
In a 2004 auction, Trump snapped up the property from Gosman’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Estate for $41 million, according to property records.
Four years later, Trump sold the mansion for $95 million.
The official deed on that deal says that Trump Properties sold the property to County Road Property LLC. But that’s just a front. The real buyer of the property was Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.
Rybolovlev admitted it through a spokesman in 2008, and his real estate agent on the deal reaffirmed it to CNNMoney this week.
Carol Digges, the South Florida broker who gave Rybolovlev a tour of the luxurious estate two years before he bought it, said the Russian billionaire never moved in. In fact, she doubts he ever moved in.
“He bought it and never lived in it,” she said.
The Russian is now planning to tear down the mansion, according to Palm Beach planning and zoning records.
There’s reason for Rybolovlev to keep valuable assets at a distance. He was involved in what’s been called “the divorce of the century,” a seven-year battle his wife won when a Swiss court awarded her $4.5 billion — and later settled quietly.
Trump pointed to this deal because it clearly involved him getting richer from Russian money — but this doesn’t exactly tie him to Vladimir Putin, as the Democratic Party would like to portray.
Rybolovlev is a Russian oligarch. He made his billions by keeping a major stake in the Russian fertilizer company Uralkali just after the fall of the Soviet Union. But he wasn’t beloved by the Russian government. He spent nearly a year in Russian prison in the mid-1990s on charges he hired an assassin — until he was proven innocent and released.
“That was a number of years ago,” Trump said at the press conference, talking about the deal with Rybolovlev. “I guess probably I sell condos to Russians, okay?”
Russian Elite Invested Nearly $100 Million in Trump Buildings
(And those are just the transparent ones, doesn’t count numerous LLCs that could be shell corporations)
A Reuters review found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida.
MIAMI/MOSCOW – During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump downplayed his business ties with Russia. And since taking office as president, he has been even more emphatic.
“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”
But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.
The buyers include politically connected businessmen, such as a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities, the founder of a St. Petersburg investment bank and the co-founder of a conglomerate with interests in banking, property and electronics.
People from the second and third tiers of Russian power have invested in the Trump buildings as well. One recently posted a photo of himself with the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang that was sanctioned by the United States for its alleged role in Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK: Pavel Uglanov, right, a Russian buyer in a Trump building, posted a picture of himself with Alexander Zaldostanov, the head of a Russian motorcycle gang sanctioned by the U.S. government for its role in Russia’s seizure of Crimea. Via Facebook
Trump’s Russian Ties in 7 Charts
These charts illustrate dozens of those links, including meetings between Russian officials and members of Trump’s campaign and administration; his daughter’s ties to Putin’s friends; Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant; and his short-lived mixed martial arts venture with one of Putin’s favorite athletes. The solid lines mark established facts, while dotted ones represent speculative or unproven connections.
Trump Russian Connections videos
Trump Saying He Knew Putin
Russian women are coming to the U.S. to give birth so that there children have dual citizenship. If there is anyone that doesn’t see the issue with this decades down the road when one of these kids is old enough to run for political office and even president you are not paying attention.
As president, Donald Trump has indicated he is opposed to so-called chain migration, which gives U.S. citizens the right to sponsor relatives, because of recent terror attacks. And as a candidate, he called for an end to birthright citizenship, declaring it in one of his first policy papers the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration.”
“You have to get rid of it,” he said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “They’re having a baby and all of a sudden — nobody knows — the baby is here. You have no choice.”
In a twist, as the Daily Beast first reported, condo buildings that bear the Trump name are the most popular for the out-of-town obstetric patients, although the units are subleased from the individual owners and it’s not clear if building management is aware.
There is no indication that Trump or the Trump Organization is profiting directly from birth tourism; the company and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Russian Intelligence Says They Have Trump Over a Barrel
Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr reportedly told lawmakers during a private interview this week that former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele told him that Russian intelligence officials believed “they had [President] Trump over a barrel.”
The Associated Press reported Friday that Ohr, who testified before Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform committees for roughly eight hours on Tuesday, said that Steele shared the sentiments of Russian intelligence during a breakfast meeting in July 2016.
The AP noted that it’s unclear if Steele had received the statement on Trump directly from Russian officials, or from his contacts.
Steele is the former British spy who compiled the controversial dossier that alleged ties between Trump and Russia.
Ohr also reportedly told lawmakers that Steele told him former Trump campaign aide Carter Page had met with higher-ranking Russian officials than he has previously stated.
I have spent a good deal of time putting this together and will update as often as possible. This is accurate and updated as of September 2, 2018.
Share far and wide so that the TRUTH overrides Trump’s lies…