Donald Trump has intriguingly shady ties to a prominent Russian mobster, according to a new report from Mother Jones.
In 2013, Trump held his Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov was a VIP guest. This status is verified through Russian media coverage, featuring photographs of the mobster strutting the red carpet just behind Trump himself.
Both Tokhtakhounov and Trump refused to acknowledge the mobster’s honored presence at the event, until, that is, the former was presented with photographic evidence of his presence. Trump, however, has still not commented on what brought the mob boss to his red 2013 carpet.
The 2013 Miss Universe pageant, however, wasn’t even the first time that the New York businessman turned Republican presidential nominee crossed paths with the same Russian mob boss and his associates.
Just over six months prior to the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, United States federal agents cleaned up a global gambling and money laundering ring based in New York City’s Trump Tower.
Not only was the operation based doors away from Trump’s own residence, but that operation was led by the same Russian mobster who so proudly strutted Trump’s red carpet as a VIP guest just six months later — Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.
Tokhtakhounov is, and was at the time of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, wanted by American authorities for his leadership of the New York based crime ring and for his alleged involvement in trying to fix a 2002 ice skating match at the Salt Lake City hosted Winter Olympics that year. Authorities allege that the mobster’s plan was to give both the Russian and French teams a gold medal and for him to thus go home with a French visa as compensation.
Tokhtakhounov — the man with disturbingly mysterious ties to the man clamoring to be president of the United States — is also currently wanted by the global police unit Interpol for “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bribery conspiracy, wire fraud, and bribery in sport contests.”
Tokhtakhounov, for his part, has unsurprisingly denied the allegations, claiming the charges as a Western plot to smear Russia.
And this Russian mobster isn’t even the first point of interaction between Donald Trump and shady — to put it softly — elements of Russian society.
Trump’s immediate past campaign manager, Paul Manafort, served as a consultant to pro-Putin political factions in Ukraine, helping instigate the war in the Crimean peninsula which is still ongoing between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russian forces.
To suggest that the web of connections extending outwards from Trump and including an internationally wanted head of organized crime is acceptable to place in the Oval Office via electing Donald Trump to the presidency is patently absurd.
Trump doesn’t even try to hide the Russian ties which he hopes to bring into the White House, having told Fox News in May, “I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago, which was a big, big incredible event.”
This “big, incredible event” featured the businessman nurturing ties with Russian mobsters. And this same businessman wants to become president.