By Ricken Patel, Avaaz
July 21, 2018 (San Diego) - It’s now shockingly clear that Donald Trump is Putin’s poodle.
But we need the world to understand why, before it’s too late…
Trump's businesses went bankrupt so many times in the 1990s that many legitimate banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore. He turned to Russian oligarchs -- Putin’s ruling clique -- to bankroll his projects, and launder their dirty money for them. This was, and continues to be, a huge part of his business. He’s a Russian money launderer.
This isn’t speculation or hyperbole. There's mountains of evidence. Trump’s former election campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, has deep ties to Russian oligarchs, and is currently in jail awaiting trial on, among other charges, money laundering!
Here are 5 more top facts everyone should know about Trump's long collusion with Russian organised criminals -- forward this email and share it on Facebook -- we all deserve to know the truth:
1. Trump’s main financial backer for the Trump Tower Toronto was a Russian-Canadian billionaire who got the money by selling a massive steel mill in Ukraine for nearly a billion dollars. $100 million of that money was paid to a Kremlin-backed fixer, likely as a bribe to VERY high Russian officials. The Chairman of the Bank who financed the deal? Vladimir Putin.
2. Trump bought his home in Palm Beach, Florida for $41 million. A few years later, with no real increase in the value -- he sold it for $95 million -- the most expensive home in America at the time! Why? A major Russian oligarch bought it -- we don’t know yet why he effectively ‘gave’ Trump $54 million. But it’s classic money laundering practice.
3. Trump's real estate deals were often fuelled by Russian money, typically passed through shady shell companies. 77% of Trump Soho apartments were bought with cash by such mysterious companies. At least 13 people with links to Russian oligarchs or mobsters lived in Trump properties, including one of Russia's top mobsters. One even ran a high-stakes illegal gambling ring in the apartment right below Trump's!
4. Trump’s financial broker and “Senior Advisor” was a Russian convicted felon named Felix Sater, widely known as a mafia figure who once stabbed someone in the face with a broken margarita glass, requiring over 100 stitches. Sater helped set up shell companies, and arranged funding for Trump’s projects, including plans for Trump Tower Moscow. He’s also part of Putin’s inner circle. Here’s one email he wrote to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen in November, 2015:
"Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will." - New York Times, August 27, 2017
5. Trump’s other main business is casinos -- which are classic money laundering vehicles. One of his casinos was 100 times found in violation of federal rules protecting against money laundering, and paid the largest fine ever levied against a casino for having “willfully violated” anti-money laundering rules. Trump has a legal obligation to do “due diligence” for all his businesses to prevent laundering. His senior executive’s comment on this was “Donald doesn’t do diligence."
The Big Picture
Putin is a former KGB officer who has used chemical weapons, assassinated people in other countries, invaded the Ukraine, occupied Crimea, shot down the MH17 airliner with almost 300 passengers on board, aided a murderous regime in Syria, condoned the beating and torture of gays, stolen up to $200 billion from his own people, hacked foreign elections and launched what NATO calls the largest hybrid warfare campaign in history to undermine western liberal democracies. He is also widely believed to have ordered the murder of Russian journalists and critics and bombed hundreds of Russian civilians to fake a terrorist attack and justify a war in Chechnya.
Why? Trump has been working for Putin's corrupt inner circle for almost 20 years. And it's that corrupt circle that promises to make him rich for the next 20 (he's refused, in violation of all ethics, to divest from his businesses as President).
Trump *may* be a Russian intelligence asset, he *may* have colluded with Putin to sabotage the US election. But what is clear is that he is a corrupt Russian money launderer, in the pocket of a KGB dictator. The whole world needs to know this, and rally together to prevent the damage this corrupt alliance threatens. Share this email with everyone…
PS -- scroll down for a TON of credible, trustworthy, fact-checked sources for everything in this email. Avaaz isn't one of those absurd troll publications that slings lies for profit -- we're a nonprofit, and every time we make an error anywhere, we publish the correction on our accuracy page, linked from the front of our website.
PPS -- if Trump the 'organized criminal money launderer' sounds like a stretch to you, consider it just the tip of the iceberg of Trump's known corruption:
- His 'charitable foundation' is likely to be shut down for multiple examples of fraud.
- Trump 'University' scammed legions of vulnerable people out of their money.
- He had an affair with a pornstar and paid her to keep quiet -- she says she was also threatened with physical violence.
- His ex-wife attested in court documents that he brutally raped her while tearing out her hair after he didn't like the hair replacement doctor she recommended.
- He bragged, on tape, about sexually assaulting multiple women.
- Hundreds of people hired by Trump say he simply decided not to pay them for their work -- including dishwashers, painters and waiters, some of whom were making minimum wage.
- He has been sued, and forced to pay out settlements, over a hundred times.
Trump is not a devil -- he's a human being, and like all people he has positive qualities and legitimate views. But anyone who denies that he is deeply corrupt, isn't looking at the facts. To understand Trump, and protect our world from him, we need to understand his corruption.
Trump’s Russian Laundromat (The New Republic)
Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump (Committee to Investigate Russia)
Secret Money: How Trump Made Millions Selling Condos To Unknown Buyers (Buzzfeed News)
Trump’s Russian connections (Financial Times)
Dirty money: Trump and the Kazakh connection (Financial Times)
Trump's oldest son said a decade ago that a lot of the family's assets came from Russia (Business Insider)
Sales of Trump properties suggestive of money-laundering - researcher (Reuters)
Tower of secrets: the Russian money behind a Donald Trump skyscraper (Financial Times)
Trump Tower Toronto Was 'Investment Scheme And Conspiracy': Lawsuit (Huffington Post)
If Trump Is Laundering Russian Money, Here’s How It Works (Wired)
Trump's casino was a money laundering concern shortly after it opened (CNN)
Donald Trump and the mansion that no one wanted. Then came a Russian fertilizer king (Miami Herald)
Everything you want to know about Donald Trump's bankruptcies (CNN)
Canada's highest court upholds ruling that Donald Trump did mislead investors (The Independent)
Russian elite invested nearly $100 million in Trump buildings (Reuters)
Why did a Russian pay $95M to buy Trump’s Palm Beach mansion? (The Seattle Times)
The Russia investigation and Donald Trump: a timeline from on-the-record sources (updated) (Politifact)
Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways (Washington Post)
A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison (Foreign Policy)
International Criminal Court: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Is A 'Crime,' Not A Civil War (Forbes)
Donald Trump’s Worst Deal: The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (The New Yorker)
Trump’s Business of Corruption (The New Yorker)
Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks (BBC)
After becoming President, Trump has sold millions in real estate in secret deals (Newsweek)
Just What Were Donald Trump's Ties to the Mob? (Politico)
Russian lawyer from infamous Trump Tower meeting admits to being an informant for the Kremlin: Report (CNBC)
The views in this editorial reflect the views of the reader/author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact email@example.com