Part IV: Behind The Curtain
D. S. Mitchell
As we have already seen, Russians have floated in the Trump swamp for decades. The President’s first contacts with Russians came in the late 1980’s when Trump was wooed by the Russian government to look at the prospect of building hotels in Moscow and Kiev.
Trump has had many Russian tenants in the Trump Tower. One very memorable Russian tenant was alleged Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. An apartment at Trump Tower rented to Tokhtakhounov was the subject of a raid in April 2013 by federal agents as part of an investigation in to two separate gambling rings. Interestingly, Ali Tokhakhounov was, despite being under indictment in the United States for various gambling and corruption charges, made an appearance at Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant held in Moscow that same year.
In addition to Russian tenants, Trump has had several Russian partners, most notably the boys from Bayrock. The Trump Organization has sold an endless stream of condo’s and private residences to Russians. His children have traveled extensively throughout Russia. In fact, according to recent news stories the Trump Organization was actively negotiating with Russian officials to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 Presidential election.
In January of 2017 Trump tweeted, “I have nothing to do with Russia–NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING.” We now know that was a blatant lie. In separate interviews about that same time Trump said in weird rambling denials that neither he or his campaign had any connection to Russians. Trump’s praise of Putin, and his refusal to ever criticize the Russian strong man has brought those assertions into serious question, causing many to speculate that Trump has been compromised.
Going back to that 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, prior to the event Trump issued a very strange tweet, “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow–if so, will he be become my new best friend?”
The answer to that very strange Twitter inquiry is unknown. Putin did not go to the event, but he did send an expensive lacquered Russian box to Trump. The event venue was the Crocus City Mall. The Crocus City Mall is owned by Aras Agalarov a Russian oligarch with known ties to Vladimir Putin. It is common knowledge that Agalarov and Trump discussed the construction of twin adjacent Trump towers in downtown Moscow during that 2013 visit.
Trump bizarrely equating business deals with diplomacy; answered as follows when a FoxNews commentator confronted him on his lack of foreign policy experience. “I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago, which was a big, big incredible event,” referring to the Miss Universe Pageant.
Really? Please explain to me, and the 70% of Americans who do not equate running a beauty pageant with running a country, how that answer and that experience would in any way qualify him as knowledgeable of foreign policy. Trump, I believe, is slowly beginning to realize what many of us already knew, that the two are in no way similar, or interchangeable. In fact, many of the tactics used in business are inappropriate as national political strategy or policy.