OREGON—(ENEWSPF)—July 27, 2016. Shortly before the start of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, it was reported that the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) email server had been hacked. The FBI was brought in to investigate this security breach. When questioned about the matter, President Obama said that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.”
Not being one to buy into conspiracy theories, I began to wonder, just what, if any, ties does Donald Trump have to Vladimir Putin and/or Russia.
Trump has frequently “expressed admiration” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Newsweek asked the Trump organization: “Do you, or any of your business units have outstanding loans with Russian banks or individuals?” Trump’s spokesperson said “Mr. Trump does not have any business dealings in/with Russia.” Trump when on to tweet:
“For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.”
Now I was sure that I had read somewhere that Trump was either actively pursuing business opportunities in Russia or already had ties to the country.
So I went to Google and typed in ‘Donald Trump AND Russian business dealings’ and it would appear that once again, the Donald is playing fast and loose with the truth.
It’s been reported that since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world. Donald Trump Jr. told a real estate conference in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
The Washington Post reported that when the Miss Universe contest was held in Russia in 2013, Trump tweeted Putin a personal invitation to attend the pageant. There was also a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin scheduled for the day before the show.
Putin had to cancel his meeting with Trump at the last minute, but sent a decorative lacquered box, a traditional Russian gift, and a warm note to Trump.
According to the Post, the weekend was fruitful for Trump. He received a portion of the $14 million paid to bring the pageant to Moscow. Additionally, Aras Agalarov, a Moscow billionaire who served as a liaison between Trump and Putin said he and Trump signed an agreement to build a Trump Tower in the heart of Moscow — at least Trump’s fifth attempt at such a venture.
Of course one way that Trump could put all this conjecture to rest would be to release his tax returns. Could this be one of the many reasons he is so reluctant to do what every other presidential candidate has done for decades and disclose his tax returns. Trump claims he’ll be willing to do so as soon as the IRS is finished with his tax audit. However, representatives from the IRS said that there was no reason why Trump’s tax returns could not be released even with the audit being incomplete.
So what’s the deal, Donald? If elected president will your policy decisions be based on what is in the best interests of the United States and our world neighbors, or what is best for the Trump bottom line?
You can read the full Washington Post article referenced in this commentary at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-trumps-financial-ties-to-russia-and-his-unusual-flattery-of-vladimir-putin/2016/06/17/dbdcaac8-31a6-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html
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