President Donald Trump is hiding something. He’s worked tirelessly to thwart the Russia investigation to the point of there being, basically, only two explanations — the aforementioned one, or a secret complete and utter ineptitude. While he may be incapable when it comes to various aspects of his job, he’s not totally mentally incapacitated.
That’s where some insight from investigative journalist Craig Unger comes in. His book House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia is out now, and he spoke with fellow journalist Chauncey Devega about what he’s found in his years of experience and research.
According to Unger, Trump should be considered compromised by the Russian mafia. That’s a bold claim, but he’s got, he indicates, the evidence to back him up, discussing the ways in which his very own properties were being used to launder mass amounts of money on well over 1,000 occasions throughout recent decades. That high of a number of incidents suggests a pattern and that Trump wasn’t just mistakenly stumbling into where he shouldn’t be.
‘When John Brennan lost his security clearance the contrast was so stark — there is no way in the world Donald Trump would have received a security clearance and he is president of the United States. Donald Trump has had contacts with the Russian mafia for 35 years. His properties have laundered money for them. The Russian mafia are connected to Russian intelligence. They’re living and have been working in Trump’s building. Trump has even partnered with them.’
Some of the business connections Unger discusses include that of the Trump Organization to the Bayrock Group and Felix Sater, a businessman of highly questionable practices who Trump has claimed not to know. In fact, Sater helped his company pursue business opportunities around the world in the early 2000s, helping the eventual president get back on his feet in the process.
Ever since then, there’s been an opportunity for Russian interests to be pulling Trump’s puppet strings. It’s not new — Trump even first knew Manafort, many decades ago, Unger says. The journalist suggests that the eventual convicted felon’s assistance in the rise to power of the staunchly pro-Kremlin Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine was a dry run of sorts for his assistance in pushing Trump to power in 2016. Manafort was tied down firmly to Russian interests through mass amounts of cash he got for working with Yanukovych.
Going forward from here, we’ve still got the report of Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller to wait for. In the meantime, though, Unger insists that the Republican Party as a whole should be considered compromised too.
‘The Republicans are also implicated. As I explain in my new book, the Russians didn’t just go after Donald Trump: They went after the entire Republican Party. There is Russian money going into the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the NRA, and then to Republican officials and candidates directly.’
With available data indicating that Democrats will be the majority party in the U.S. House and maybe the U.S. Senate too following the midterms in less than a month, that Russian money doesn’t seem to have paid off.
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