During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton told us Donald Trump is Putin’s puppet. She told us this during a debate with Trump, where, being so quick on his feet, Trump responded with, “you’re the puppet.” If his complicity to a foreign leader didn’t sway you from voting for him, then his inability to defend himself like an adult should have.
Clinton was not the only candidate to tell us Trump was indebted and controlled by Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump told us. He hid it very poorly.
On two occasions, it was pointed out that Putin killed enemies, including journalists. Once by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and the other time by Bill O’Reilly. Trump didn’t respond by expressing condemnation or even concern. He couldn’t even fake it. Both times, he responded by defending Putin, and again in a childish manner. Once with, “you think we’re so great?” and the other time, “a lot of people have done bad things.” He also said, “at least he’s a leader.”
And yet, we decided we couldn’t trust a woman who was careless with classified information, so we voted for the man displaying his patronage to the Kremlin. Seriously, America?
Russians spies weren’t the only foreign powers meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at the Trump campaign HQ in Trump Tower. Representatives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates visited and told him they were “eager” to help Trump win the White House. From there, Joel Zamel, an Israeli expert in social media manipulation, put together a proposal for an online manipulation program to help elect Trump using thousands of fake accounts to promote him on Facebook. We don’t know if this plan was ever put into place, but others in on it were Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, and founder of Blackwater and brother to our current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Erik Prince.
Today, Trump tells us he has no financial interest in Saudi Arabia but on the campaign trail, he said he was paid millions by them for apartments in his garish, ugly buildings. He said, “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.” Now, we’re supposed to forget he ever said it or assume he was lying. Either he was lying then or he’s lying now. Which is it?
During the campaign, there was much speculation that a lot of Trump’s projects were financed by Russian banks. What has been confirmed is that he got a lot of financing from Deutsche Bank, which he still owes millions to. Deutsche Bank has worked closely with Russian institutions in the past, and we don’t know if they haven’t sold Trump’s loan to Russia. Thursday, German police raided the offices of Deutsche Bank seeking evidence in a money laundering investigation into the practice of hiding money offshore to elude tax collectors and government regulators. Though this case doesn’t appear to have anything to do with Trump, it did occur the same day his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in a plea deal with the Special Counsel’s office, and Trump’s tax attorney’s offices were also raided by the feds. What a bunch of coincidences.
Trump has spent the last two years denying he had any financial ties to Russia, but Cohen laid out a scheme to the Special Counsel that he was leading the Trump Organization’s efforts to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump responded by calling Cohen a liar and confirming what Cohen said. Trump’s defense is that all the stuff he spent the past two years hiding and denying wasn’t illegal.
But, it may have been illegal. According to reports, the Trump Organization’s plan was for the project, which Trump had dreamed of for three decades because he has a weird obsession with Russia, was to be financed by a Russian bank. The bank, VTB, is controlled by the Kremlin and is under sanctions by the United States. Even approaching this bank to do business is illegal. Other reports claim the Trump Organization was offering the penthouse, valued at $50 million, to Putin to make the project happen.
While it would make business sense to offer Putin such a gift, as it would make Russian oligarchs spends upwards of $250 million to be Putin’s neighbor, offering a bribe to a foreign head of state is illegal.
Also, to get financing from VTB, the Trump Organization, and perhaps Trump himself, would have to hand over all sorts of financial disclosure documents. Have you ever got a mortgage based upon your good looks? I doubt Trump has either. But, this would be handing Putin another gift, the president’s financial interests. No wonder he doesn’t want to insult him. Trump won’t even let us see his taxes, but maybe Putin has them.
This compromises Trump in the worst way. It’s not just one conflict of interest for Trump. He was working a deal with Russia through June of 2016, while Russia was engaged in a military intelligence cyberattack against the United States. This makes Trump a traitor.
Since I brought up a few coincidences earlier, here’s another; The Trump Tower/Campaign HQ meeting between Donald Jr., Kushner, Manafort and Russia spies was also while Trump was trying to get this deal on the Moscow Project.
Since the election, Trump has sided with Putin over our nation’s, and his, intelligence. He’s been very light and gentle toward Vladimir. He’s forgiven the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman for his ordering of a journalist’s execution.
On Friday at the G20 Summit, Putin and MBS exchanged a greeting that was less diplomatic and more like a touchdown celebration. It was very victorious and celebratory.
Putin and MBS have a lot to celebrate. They own a president, and if you still support Trump, they own you too.
Watch me draw.