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‘Owned by the Russian mob’: Trump biographer explains how the president’s first ‘fixer’ Roy Cohn set him up with the mafia

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Though Donald Trump has consistently claimed that he has no business interests in Russia, the author of a new book alleging the president was tied to Russia mobsters laundering money in his properties put that claim to the test during an MSNBC interview Friday.

As writer Craig Unger told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the connection between Trump and the Russian mob was forged by the president’s old lawyer, the late Roy Cohn.

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“[Cohn] was also a lawyer for the Italian mafia, for the Gambino and Genovese families, and in the 80’s they began partnering with the Russians,” Unger said.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians began making so much money that “they needed to launder it,” the writer continued. In 1984, David Bogatin, a Russian national with ties to the mob, paid Trump $6 million in cash for five condos — the equivalent of about $15 million by modern standards.

“According to the state attorney general of New York,” Unger noted, “that was money laundering.”

After clarifying to Matthews how and why the capital began flowing from the former USSR to the United States, the writer pointed out that “the best way to launder money is real estate.”

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“There are almost no regulations in real estate,” Unger said, “in terms of [how] you can buy it anonymously, through shell companies, pay all-cash transactions — bam, when you sell it, it’s laundered.”

The writer noted that although he doesn’t have records for the alleged cash transactions between Trump and the Russian mob, those documents may soon come to light.

I can’t penetrate all the shell companies, and this is one of the interesting things today with [former Trump Organization CFO] Allen Weisselberg flipping,” Unger said. “Obviously I don’t have subpoena power, but I think you’re going to find that those records are going to be opened by the prosecutors now.”

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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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