Politics - News Analysis
Trump’s Ties to the Russian Mob Go Back to 1984 — Why is No One Talking About THIS Russia Connection?
With the release of the Senate Intelligence report today confirming that the intelligence community’s work finding that Russia manipulated the 2016 election and that the conclusion was based upon professional agents, backed by a ton of legitimate evidence, we can be even more certain none of this is the slightest bit a hoax. We have decided to revisit some of the research that led up to one of the greatest intelligence coups in history. But, even though we’re certain that the Russian government interfered on behalf of Trump, the vast majority of research points to Trump having troubling ties to the Russian mafia that likely outweigh any obligations to Putin personally.
Some might think that the distinction is without a difference, but that is not necessarily true. Trump may still have his hands tied with respect to Russia, but the end goal is meaningfully different. Rather than Trump being subservient to Putin first, and then maybe his mob boss creditors second, it is the other way around. Trump’s principle job concerning Russia is to help them make money. Trump may be under less press from Putin over international and geopolitical issues than he is about making a profit.
Trump still won’t cross Putin, but what Putin and other Russians ask of Trump might be vastly different. We look primarily to two well-researched articles to back up that assertion, both written years ago, thus less polluted by pure politics in an election year.
Trump’s ties to Russia go back to the time when “Russia” was still part of the communist Soviet Union (who is the communist sympathizer now?). The goal starts and continues with making money, according to both the New Republic and New Yorker. Trump first sold condos “anonymously” to a Soviet agent, mafia front, for cash, in 1984. It wasn’t just “one” condo in Trump Tower, Trump sold five to one man (a Soviet agent), with no apparent means to back that money up. Trump literally got his first start with the Russian mafia under signs screaming “laundered money,” and didn’t care. Meanwhile, as the Soviet communist state weakened, demand only increased for high-end valued property, the perfect vehicle to launder money.
Trump was there from the beginning. The key, however, was that Trump’s 1984 buyer reported directly to the undisputed very top of the pyramid in Russia, to perhaps the most powerful mafia boss in the world at the time. Trump didn’t just start with the Russian mafia, he started at the very top, according to the New Republic:
Semion Mogilevich, whom the FBI considers the “boss of bosses” of the Russian mafia. At the time, Mogilevich—feared even by his fellow gangsters as “the most powerful mobster in the world”—was expanding his multibillion-dollar international criminal syndicate into America.
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Given that Trump got his start so early, and so clearly connected to the very top, one would think that it would make it rather easy to establish Trump’s ties to Russian crime. But the opposite is true. The boss of the bosses, Mogilevich, was already adept at leaving no trace of his connections. As the New Republic concluded all the way back in 2017, there is no “smoking gun.”
The very nature of Trump’s businesses—all of which are privately held, with few reporting requirements—makes it difficult to root out the truth about his financial deals. And the world of Russian oligarchs and organized crime, by design, is shadowy and labyrinthine. For the past three decades, state and federal investigators, as well as some of America’s best investigative journalists, have sifted through mountains of real estate records, tax filings, civil lawsuits, criminal cases, and FBI and Interpol reports, unearthing ties between Trump and Russian mobsters like Mogilevich. To date, no one has documented that Trump was even aware of any suspicious entanglements in his far-flung businesses, let alone that he was directly compromised by the Russian mafia or the corrupt oligarchs who are closely allied with the Kremlin. So far, when it comes to Trump’s ties to Russia, there is no smoking gun.
No one doubts that Trump had the ties, knew of them, and used them from the beginning. It would take a disciplined willful ignorance to “not notice.” Moreover, how many high-end American businessmen made trips to the Soviet Union in 1987?
A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.
Not only was Trump in hock back then, but much more recently, and it was Russian money that saved Trump from literally falling through the financial floor. A former assistant United States said that Russian money “saved Trump’s bacon.”
At the very least, with his constant need for new infusions of cash and his well-documented troubles with creditors, Trump made an easy “mark” for anyone looking to launder money. But whatever his knowledge about the source of his wealth, the public record makes clear that Trump built his business empire in no small part with a lot of dirty money from a lot of dirty Russians—including the dirtiest and most feared of them all.
The articles paint the picture of a man with two dangerous characteristics. He was self-obsessed and driven to money first, last and only, and was such a ridiculous business person that he was in desperate pain from the beginning, a pattern that remains to this day, where it always seems like Trump is only one New York Times headline away from stepping down from office. The report also makes clear just how unforgivable it is that this country doesn’t have Trump’s taxes and real financial reports going back decades.
The New Yorker article in particular concluded that the Russian state and intelligence community lacked the sophistication to pull off such a perfect intelligence coup. But the Russian mafia probably could.
Again, such a conclusion doesn’t mean that Trump is free to operate, or free to oppose Russia, it only means that money still comes first – always, which might explain how it is that a Russian oligarch got an aluminum plant in Kentucky, but Trump has yet to withdraw from NATO (thank god).
We will continue this series looking into Trump’s past and what it means leading up to the 2016 election throughout this week. However, one conclusion is already clear. Trump’s ties to Russian crime are so strong and established so long ago, that it’s almost inconceivable that such a compromised person could ever win the nomination in a major party, never mind win the presidency. It seems that Trump purposefully created so much scandal, so early, because he needed to keep the focus on the latest outrage, and not on solid reporting about his business connections going back decades. Having had it work once, Trump will surely use the exact same plan in 2020.
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