The cache of evidence showing the ways Russia bailed Donald Trump out is growing — and it could soon spell trouble for the president.
Foreign Policy reported that prior to 2016, the Trump family didn’t try to hide their debt to Russia.
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump, Jr. said in 2008, the report noted.
Alan Lapidus, Trump’s former longtime architect, told FP in November that following the president’s financial troubles in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, he “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 said.
A former Trump business associate told the magazine on condition of anonymity that much of the “overseas money” was given in real-estate deals and the purchase of condos.
“He was saying to himself, ‘What else could I do in the world? I’ll just convince people to buy my brand,'” the associate told FP. “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 was on the Titanic heading down,” Trump biographer Gwenda Blair said of his miraculous recover from debt. “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—which various investigators believe could have included money launderers from Russia and former Soviet republics who bought up dozens of his condos—for a decade and a half,” the report noted.
Recent reports, FP added, suggest “federal and congressional investigators are now focused on the Trump Organization as much as the president himself in probing alleged Russian influence.”
As one Capitol Hill staffer told the magazine: “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.”
Read the entire report via Foreign Policy.