follow the money

Never mind the US$750 Comrade Trump is said to have paid in taxes. Sure, that’s infuriating — but it’s not (or shouldn’t be) the the main story. The main story is the hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. The debt that’s coming due in the next few years. The main story is this: to whom does he owe that money? From where did the cash come, the cash that allowed Trump to buy golf courses and build more hotels and condominium towers?

We know that in the mid-1980s Russian organized crime figures (and remember, there’s little to distinguish between Russian organized crime, Russian banking systems, and Russian intelligence services) began to launder money through Trump real estate. We know that because several federal prosecutions came out of it and a number of condos in Trump Tower were seized by the government.

Trump Tower, Manhattan

We know that by the early-to-mid-1990s, the Trump Organization was deeply in debt. We know the Trump Plaza Hotel, Trump Regency Hotel, and Trump Castle Casino were all losing money. We also know the hotel and entertainment industries are attractive ways to launder money. We know that by 1995, US banks began to refuse loans to Trump because he was a bad risk. We also know that Trump turned to foreign banks and entities for help. First to Deutsche Bank and a few year later to the Bayrock Group. Deutsche Bank has a long history of working with Russian organized crime; they were caught in a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme and had to pay fines of about $630 million. Bayrock was formed by a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan. Trump’s main contact in Bayrock was Felix Sater; in 1998 Sater pleaded guilty to a $40 million stock fraud scheme run by Russian organized crime.

We know that throughout the 90s and into the 2000s Russian oligarchs (again, remember, you don’t become an oligarch without being indebted to Putin) and organized crime figures working for Semion Mogilevich (the head of an international Russian organized crime cartel) continued to buy more than 65 Trump properties in New York, Florida, and Arizona. We know the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank helped Trump finance a struggling Trump-branded hotel in Toronto. We know that in 2008 Trump sold a Florida mansion to Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million, twice what Trump paid for it four years earlier. Ryboloblev has been indicted in Monaco on criminal charges of corruption, influence trafficking, and something called ”violation of secrets of a criminal investigation.” He was also implicated in the murder of a business rival, Evgeny Panteleymonov. However, the charge was eventually dismissed after a witness suddenly recanted his testimony.

Palm Beach, Florida mansion sold to Dmitry Rybolovlev

We know another associate of Semion Mogilevich, Vyacheslav Ivankov (a vory v zakone with ties to Russian intelligence services) was a frequent guest at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino. According to the FBI, Ivankov was often comped “for up to $100,000 a visit for free food, rooms, champagne, entertainment, and transportation in stretch limos and helicopters” by the casino. Casinos, of course, are attractive sites for money laundering. The Taj Mahal casino was fined for violating anti-money laundering rules 106 times in its first year and a half of operation. Ivankov had been hiding out in Trump Tower for months before being arrested by the FBI and charged with extorting $2.7 million. When arrested, he had seven different passports under different names and countries. After serving a prison sentence in the US, Ivankov returned to Russia and was eventually murdered by a rival organized crime cartel.

Trump Taj Mahal casino

We know the daughter of Viktor Khrapunov, the former governor of the East Kazakhstan Province, bought three Trump SoHo condos. We know Khrapunov has also been accused of a number of construction and real estate frauds, as well as money laundering. The $3.1 million purchase of the Trump condos was allegedly made with money stolen from the government of Kazakhstan. Khrapunov has financial ties with Bayrock. In 2008 Khrapunov chartered a Russian Tupolev Tu-154 and flew to Geneva, Switzerland with 18 tons of cargo, which reputedly included antiques, jewelry, works of art and other highly valuable items. Interpol has issued a red notice for the arrest of Khrapunov.

Trump International golf club in Aberdeen, Scotland

We know Eric Trump told James Dodson, a golf reporter, that the Trump Organization was able to expand their property holdings because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” Golf courses, by the way, are also popular with money launderers. Trump own 17 golf courses, both in the US and abroad.

We know…well, you get the picture. Over the last three decades Trump has had a LOT of financial support from Russian oligarchs, Russian banks (and banks from former Soviet Republics), and Russian organized crime. And once again, it’s impossible to distinguish between Russian organized crime, Russian banking, and Russian state intelligence services.

That Trump only paid $750 in taxes for a couple of years may be an outrage, but the more serious problem is his financial debt. That amount of debt is a clear security concern. It’s impossible to get a security clearance with significant debt (which may be the reason neither Ivanka nor Jared Kushner weren’t given security clearances until Trump insisted on it). We don’t know who floated Trump the money to make the purchases of his golf courses and hotels and condos. It’s reasonable to suspect much (or most or all) of it came from sources connected with Russia.

As I’ve said here, and here, and here, and here, and probably elsewhere, I think Putin has something on Trump. I think Trump is in Putin’s pocket. I think Trump is compromised and that explains why he so often seems to be furthering Russian interests and ignoring the interests of the United States.

19 thoughts on “follow the money

  1. So now having debt is a crime?
    If you are so concerned about following the money, why were you so silent on the revelations of the millions of dollars paid to Hunter Biden by the Russian mayor? Of the connections to China?
    Oh yeah, I forget, when a democrat commits a crime it is ok. Forgive me for even asking the question.
    Carry on with your looting and burning.

    Like

    • Having a debt is not a crime. Having $300M worth of debt as a public official isn’t a crime. Just very very suspicious.

      And explain how the alt-right boomers are okay with having debt when they took Stacy Abrams (GA governor’s race) to task for having over $200K worth of IRS, student loan, and credit card debt.

      Oh. Yeah, that’s right, She’s not a republican. Also she’s a super sharp black woman. Probably the most terrifying thing to a republican.

      Billy. It’s okay that you’re grumpy Boomer. Just relax. Gen X, the Millennials, and Gen Z have this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh look, the race card. Good one. Got anything new to play?

        For the record, I love super sharp people, regardless of color, unlike you, color does not matter, policy does. I would support Candace Owens running for any office in the country based on her policies, not her skin color.

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    • So now having debt is a crime?
      C’mon, Billy, you know better. This isn’t about debt; it’s about who OWNS the debt. This isn’t a political issue; it’s a national security issue. If the president owes money to dodgy Russian entities, that’s a huge problem. Surely you can see that.

      As to Hunter Biden, I’ve said nothing about him because he’s private business person. I certainly think his investments are worth investigating, simply because of Ylena Baturina’s loose connection through her former husband to the Solntsevskaya Bratva. Again, nobody becomes a Russian oligarch without being in Putin’s pocket. But the Grassley report doesn’t allege anything illegal about the transaction.

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      • Well Trump’s debts were as a private citizen. Hunter Biden’s debt came while his dad was VP and Hunter got special treatment because of dad being VP. Why again is that not an issue?

        There is zero connection to Russia and Trump, only pure speculation and conspiracy theories. While with Hunter and Joe, there is solid evidence of dealings with Russia, China, and the Ukraine.

        But again, those things do not matter to you 1 bit because it is the democrat and his family.

        We are nearly 4 years into his presidency, what exactly ahs Trump done for Russia that is worth all this debt you claim Russia owns of his? I have yet to see a single positive policy that helps Russia at all.

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      • So we do not agree with you so we are cultist… got it.
        Well since you favor a guy who seems to like to grope and sniff little girls, what should we call you?

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  2. Greg, the taxes are astonishing considering how Trump presents himself. Clearly he is a charlatan and the most often heard defense is to attack some other public figure. LOL! He is SUPPOSED to be the President of the United States of America. All the unrest on his watch and the potential chaos over this election is on him.

    I recall how upset some people were about the clusterfuck that was Benghazi. Mark my words, more than six Americans will die because of the election and the way Trump has characterized things with no evidence whatsoever. We won’t even talk about the 200.000 lives lost to Covid 19. It sure could have been less than that.

    It is no consolation now, but Trump will go down in history as the worst president that has ever been. I am not seeing a silver lining here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man I laugh now every time I read this crap. It truly is funny to read how much of a pretzel you guys twist yourselves into to blame Trump for everything on the planet from global warming to covid deaths. Man if Trump actually had that kind of power, what could he do.

      Quite to the contrary, Trump will go down as the most productive, hardest working, most dedicated president in most of our lifetimes. Obama, the most racist president in a 100 years as well as the worst since Carter, has been given a pass at all of his misdeeds and shortcomings because he is half black.

      Trump did nothing illegal with his taxes and did the exact same thing everyone else who files a long form does, use the rules created by the IRS to his advantage to pay the least amount of taxes possible. I am sure you take zero deductions and do not use any of the options given to you by the IRS to reduce your taxes, right?

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    • Hey Joe — the security failure at Benghazi, as tragic as it was, is small beans compared to the failure to hold Russia accountable for paying the Taliban a bounty for killing US troops.

      There’s a chance Trump will go down in history as the first president in history to do prison time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheerfully stolen from the interwebs:

    He doesn’t pay taxes.
    He doesn’t pay employees.
    He doesn’t pay contractors.
    He doesn’t pay his debts.
    He doesn’t pay his charitable donations.
    He doesn’t tithe.

    He pays for sex.
    He pays for silence about sex.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh look, the lovely dem tries to through out insults based on age. First off, I am not a baby boomer, but thanks for trying. And thanks for demonstrating exactly what I have been saying for 4 years now. The best thing Trump has done is to have exposed you people for how petty, insecure, mean, racist, bigoted, and self absorbed you truly are.

        When someone does not agree with you, you hurl out an insult about them personally, an insult about something they cannot change, just like skin color. So thanks for being true to form as a democrat, I would expect nothing less.

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  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ALWAYS follow the money!! … “That Trump only paid $750 in taxes for a couple of years may be an outrage, but the more serious problem is his financial debt. That amount of debt is a clear security concern. It’s impossible to get a security clearance with significant debt (which may be the reason neither Ivanka nor Jared Kushner weren’t given security clearances until Trump insisted on it).”

    THIS SAYS IT ALL!! … “I think Putin has something on Trump. I think Trump is in Putin’s pocket. I think Trump is compromised and that explains why he so often seems to be furthering Russian interests and ignoring the interests of the United States.”

    Like

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