A former head of Britain’s spy agency has spoken out remarkably about Donald Trump, offering up some crucial insight into the ongoing scandal about the President’s connections to Russia.
Richard Dearlove, who served between 1999 and 2004 as head of the Secret Intelligence Service, spoke to Prospect Magazine about the “phenomenon of Donald Trump” in an interview that was published last Thursday.
Dearlove told the publication: “What lingers for Trump may be what deals — on what terms — he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”
The Independent notes that Dearlove’s reference here to deals that Trump struck with Russia in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis is a very serious allegation. However, it’s an allegation for which Dearlove does not seem to immediately supply any evidence.
Nonetheless, should it prove true, then it would raise questions about why these deals were not previously disclosed by the Trump team, seeing as Trump himself asserted on a number of occasions that he has no substantive ties to Russia.
As the publication notes as an example, Trump tweeted on January 11 that he has “NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Dearlove’s allegations aren’t the first of their kind to call that claim from Trump into question, with a slow but steady stream of revelations coming out in the months since the election — and even before that — about how closely tied Trump’s businesses actually are to Russian oligarchs.
In light of the possibility that Dearlove’s allegations prove true, it’s worth noting that much of the Russian financial system is run either directly or indirectly by the Russian government. Thus, for an individual to have ties to Russian financial infrastructure means that they also have ties to the Russian government.
There have been similar allegations raised in the past. At one point, computer scientists monitoring the election discovered a secret computer server in Trump Tower that seemed to exist for the sole purpose of fostering communications with Russia’s Alfa Bank. That computer server is, by all appearances, still under investigation.
Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer at an international law firm Amsterdam & Partners, told The Independent that he’s sure that the FBI and other intelligence agencies has the evidence to back up Dearlove’s claims, even though the former British spy head didn’t immediately offer any evidence in his interview. Amsterdam said, “Trump’s relationship with Russia goes back many, many years. I’m sure the FBI was monitoring it.”
The only question, Amsterdam says, is why the FBI hasn’t yet released any information about Trump’s financial ties to Russia.
It’s not immediately clear if Trump is still paying off the known debts that he has to Russia affiliated financial institutions or if, as Dearlove suggests, he has possibly yet unrevealed debts to Russian financial institutions. It’s pretty clear to see how, if the Trump Organization is still paying off debts to Russia, then that creates a massive conflict of interest, seeing as if Trump does something that the Russians don’t like then they’re free to jack up his interest rates, among other things.
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