There are many disturbing hints about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia that could seriously call into question whether America’s interests are in conflict with Trump’s business interests.
The Washington Post reported last week that, according to a senior Russian diplomat, “Russian government officials conferred with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.” The Trump campaign has denied it. But the article reminds us that we’ve got plenty of reasons to be concerned:
Speculation has swirled about Trump’s links to Russia since early in the campaign, both because of his warm words about Putin and past business ventures in Russia. It is not clear whether Trump has any investments in the country, because he has not released any tax records.
But he made millions of dollars by taking the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. Wealthy Russians also have been an important source of investments in Trump’s businesses. His son Donald Trump Jr. said in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” adding that “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” (The emphases are mine.)
And that’s not the only chumminess between Trump and Russia noted in the article.
Furthermore, as I wrote last week in a post for Liberal America, Russia’s Duma not only openly broke into applause at the news of Trump's election but an advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin publicly hinted he helped make that happen. “Maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks,” Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, reportedly said.
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce also sees a dire need for Trump’s ties to Russia to be fully investigated:
Why in Christ’s sweet name isn’t this thundering through the news cycle right now? Why aren’t hundreds of national-security reporters all over it? We have elected a guy who may well have traded what little integrity he has to a vicious autocrat and his thieves-in-law … We know he can’t get a loan from most American banks, so he has to go overseas for a lot of his financing. What banks is he tied into, and are any of those banks tied into the Russian government? Whom does he owe and how much does he owe them? And how do they plan to collect?
As disturbing as all that is, Pierce reminds us this is only part of an “unprecedented tangle of shadowy business dealings that will follow” Trump into the White House. Pierce notes that Trump is a defendant in “75 different lawsuits of assorted kinds.” He’s “toting a huge amount of baggage into the Oval Office and each piece of it contains a ticking time-bomb,” Pierce adds.
This is serious stuff. We need to know it all and we need to know it now, before Trump takes office.
Perhaps the only thing we can be sure of in the wake of Donald Trump’s election is that Trump will team up with his Fox News cheerleaders to put a shine on everything he does and says. We can also pretty much count on the two to demonize (or worse) those who dare to get under Trump’s very thin skin.
That’s all the more reason why the truth must come out as soon as possible.
Caricature of Trump by DonkeyHotey via Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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