May 17, 2016

Why won't Trump release his taxes? This is the question dogging the candidate over the last few weeks, especially since just last week he came out and said that he refuses to do so until after the election. Rumors of paying no taxes, offshore accounts, little to no charitable donations (going against his claim that he donates A LOT) and earning significantly less than the hundreds of millions he claims have been the most accepted reasons.

The Washington Post has presented another idea - Mafia ties. Today they published an article that outlines a long and, at times, very close relationship between Trump and a former Mafia figure, Felix Sater.

Sater is a Russian born businessman who emigrated to the U.S. as a child and led a colorful life in business. The Washington Post reports that he started his career as a stock broker but lost his trading license after a vicious attack at a bar which led to him serving a year in prison. Following his release, he linked up a friend who ran a "Mafia-linked" brokerage firm, which led to a new charge of racketeering in a massive $40 million stock fraud in 1998. He managed to dodge prison time by providing witness testimony in another case.

After this well known set of legal battles, he linked up with Trump. In 2001 he joined a real estate company called Bayrock which had offices in Trump Tower. He began to have many one on one meetings with both Trump and his son, discussing real estate deals both in the U.S. and overseas. The relationship got so close that when Trump's children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, went to Moscow in 2006, Sater was asked to be a private tour guide.

Sater worked on numerous projects with Trump, including the failed oceanfront Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which stopped construction in 2009. Shortly after the project went belly up, Sater left Bayrock. He was given Trump Organization business cards and office space just two floors below Donald Trump in Trump Tower. The cards reportedly said his title was "senior adviser to Donald Trump.” (Did he work with John Miller?).

Sater used to go into meetings with investors and say:

“Anybody can come in and build a tower, I can build a Trump Tower, because of my relationship with Trump.”

Trump denies knowing Sater and said that he had no idea that he had Mafia ties or any legal trouble. Really? When the ties were made public, Trump told the New York Times “we do as much of a background check as we can on the principals. I didn’t really know him very well.” But he was a tour guide for your kids in Moscow? He visited Mar-A-Lago?

First it was the racist butler calling for President Obama to be killed. He knew Trump for over 30 years, worked as his former butler for 17, but Trump really doesn't know him. Then David Duke, KKK leader, endorsed Trump and he pretends to not know who he is. Now a Mafia linked businessman worked with Trump for 6 years, showed his kids around Moscow and even flew to Colorado with him, but Trump doesn't really know him either.

Truth and Trump clearly have no relationship.

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