Monday Open Thread: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

About two months ago, someone on another blog linked to an article at Slate about how American Banks had shunned Trump, and that he was given a financial lifeline by financing from Russia.
As always, follow the money.
This is an underreported story – follow the links.

Josh Marshall has been taking ‘seemingly’ unconnected things, and following the crumbs. I think he’s on point.

……………………………………………………

Trump & Putin. Yes, It’s Really a Thing
By JOSH MARSHALL
Published JULY 23, 2016, 4:15 PM EDT

Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin’s increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there’s quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.

Let me start by saying I’m no Russia hawk. I have long been skeptical of US efforts to extend security guarantees to countries within what the Russians consider their ‘near abroad’ or extend such guarantees and police Russian interactions with new states which for centuries were part of either the Russian Empire or the USSR. This isn’t a matter of indifference to these countries. It is based on my belief in seriously thinking through the potential costs of such policies. In the case of the Baltics, those countries are now part of NATO. Security commitments have been made which absolutely must be kept. But there are many other areas where such commitments have not been made. My point in raising this is that I do not come to this question or these policies as someone looking for confrontation or cold relations with Russia.

Let’s start with the basic facts. There is a lot of Russian money flowing into Trump’s coffers and he is conspicuously solicitous of Russian foreign policy priorities.

I’ll list off some facts.

1. All the other discussions of Trump’s finances aside, his debt load has grown dramatically over the last year, from $350 million to $630 million. This is in just one year while his liquid assets have also decreased. Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks.

2. Post-bankruptcy Trump has been highly reliant on money from Russia, most of which has over the years become increasingly concentrated among oligarchs and sub-garchs close to Vladimir Putin. Here’s a good overview from The Washington Post, with one morsel for illustration …
Since the 1980s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

3. One example of this is the Trump Soho development in Manhattan, one of Trump’s largest recent endeavors. The project was the hit with a series of lawsuits in response to some typically Trumpian efforts to defraud investors by making fraudulent claims about the financial health of the project. Emerging out of that litigation however was news about secret financing for the project from Russia and Kazakhstan. Most attention about the project has focused on the presence of a twice imprisoned Russian immigrant with extensive ties to the Russian criminal underworld. But that’s not the most salient part of the story. As the Times put it,

“Mr. Lauria brokered a $50 million investment in Trump SoHo and three other Bayrock projects by an Icelandic firm preferred by wealthy Russians “in favor with” President Vladimir V. Putin, according to a lawsuit against Bayrock by one of its former executives. The Icelandic company, FL Group, was identified in a Bayrock investor presentation as a “strategic partner,” along with Alexander Mashkevich, a billionaire once charged in a corruption case involving fees paid by a Belgian company seeking business in Kazakhstan; that case was settled with no admission of guilt.”

Read the rest of his piece at the link.

 

Here’s another piece from Bloomberg about one of Trump’s ‘Advisors’ and the Putin Link:

Trump’s New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom
Carter Page brings a “real-world” resume—and says his close relations with Russian business are a strength.
By Zachary Mider

A globe-trotting American investment banker who’s built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s escalating involvement in the Ukraine. When Donald Trump named him last week as one of his foreign-policy advisers, Page says his e-mail inbox filled up with positive notes from Russian contacts. “So many people who I know and have worked with have been so adversely affected by the sanctions policy,” Page said in a two-hour interview last week. “There’s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation.”…

This entry was posted in 2016 Elections, Economics, Foreign policy, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

127 Responses to Monday Open Thread: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

  1. thank you for this… good stuff

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Like

  3. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. rikyrah says:

    Like

  5. Liza says:

    I liked Bernie’s speech until he started talking about Hillary. What he is saying about Hillary sounds like he’s talking about himself, not her.

    Doesn’t ring true. Sorry. But I love Bernie for what he has done. I wish he were the candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rikyrah says:

    Absolutely incredible. QUEEN 👑 #michelleobama #flotus #imwithher

    A post shared by Sara 💃🏻🐶❤️😎🍷 (@saraandreasson1) on

    Like

  7. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rikyrah says:

    Charles M. Blow ✔ @CharlesMBlow
    I really don’t care much abt these conventions or parties. I care abt that damned Supreme Court! #StayFocused #DemsInPhilly

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

    • rikyrah says:

      Joel Pavelski ‏@joelcifer 36m36 minutes ago
      Sorry Elizabeth Warren you are very important and cool but I need a few more minutes to think about how to make Michelle Obama love me

      Liked by 1 person

  10. eliihass says:

    Told you my fam that some of these folks who work(ed) for POTUS are slimy as hell…

    FLOTUS finishes her speech and that a-hole former speechwriter tweets ‘congratulations’ to FLOTUS and a speechwriter..

    Anyone ever seen such a tweet ..

    Crazy..

    As if this Princeton and Harvard educated First Lady has no thoughts or words of her own…As if any speechwriter could capture her life story, her thoughts and her words better than she has been exactly articulating them since she has been on the campaign trail and speaking without notes…

    Someone please tweet a special f-off prick, to Jon Favreau for me..

    Like

  11. Like

  12. Ametia says:

    Thread of FLOTUS’ DNC PEECH IS UP!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. rikyrah says:

    from VSB:

    brothaskeeper @
    Other_guy13

    29 minutes ago

    Look….when you get you a Michelle-esque woman in your life, you hold onto her like a winning Powerball ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Like

  15. rikyrah says:

    President Obama ‏@POTUS 11m11 minutes ago

    Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn’t be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liza says:

      FLOTUS looked gorgeous and her public speaking skills are awesome. All I could think is how wonderful all of this would be if the Democrats had a good candidate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • eliihass says:

        Because as fantastic as her speech was, you could also hear what she didn’t and wouldn’t say…

        She always tries to be as sincere as possible – and there are bridges she just won’t cross..

        She’ll praise you as much as she can for the good you do, but she will not fudge affection or make up loving stuff about you..

        Her speeches are always compelling, straight to the heart, easy to comprehend, down to earth, but also very clever and sophisticated in the way she very effectively navigates treacherous landmines…and never compromises her integrity…

        Liked by 2 people

  16. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Liza says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Elizabeth Warren has lost much of her luster. Hillary represents ALL of what Elizabeth Warren was supposed to be fighting against. And what’s in it for her?

    I’m just waiting for Bernie.

    FLOTUS gave a great speech but I cringed at the parts that praised Hillary. I could see that FLOTUS tried to limit the praise to what Hillary has supposedly done for children, and that is probably the only way she could be sincere.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Liked by 1 person

  19. Liked by 1 person

  20. rikyrah says:

    ‏@blacksnob 9s10 seconds ago
    I feel like when Michelle leaves the WH black folks are going channel Effie from Dreamgirls talkin’ about “no way I’m living without you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. rikyrah says:

    Like

  22. eliihass says:

    Only my FLOTUS…

    Only my FLOTUS…

    Do you fam see why I am in forever AWE of this magnificent woman..

    Liked by 1 person

  23. rikyrah says:

    I can’t believe it’s the last time for us and FLOTUS.

    Like

  24. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 1 person

  25. rikyrah says:

    @JuliaHass
    Not to be dramatic but if anyone dares boo Michelle Obama I will rage-teleport to Philadelphia and tear out their still-beating heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. rikyrah says:

    Who will shape out children’s lives for the next 4 o 8 years…”

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    FLOTUS: “Our motto is: When they go low, we go high.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rikyrah says:

    FLOTUS video produced by JJ ABRAMS

    Liked by 1 person

  29. rikyrah says:

    FLOTUS has de-aged.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. rikyrah says:

    This is sort of funny:

    Like

  31. rikyrah says:

    Muting Steve Schmidt.

    Like

  32. eliihass says:

    Cory Booker = FOREVER FAKE..

    EMPTY HOLLOW WORDS…

    So INAUTHENTIC…

    Wannabe Barack Obama so badly…

    More importantly, wannabe president…

    Forever Auditioning…

    Forever SELF-SERVING…

    Somebody ask Ms Cory where he’s been since the 2012 elections when he rolled out to effusively defend his Wall Street benefactors against President Obama….

    Somebody ask the 1st black Senator from New Jersey where he’s been for the past 4 years as our black kids have been murdered in cold blood…

    Not a peep …

    Nada..

    Go Away Cory…

    You will NEVER be president…NEVER..

    http://giphy.com/gifs/tired-coffee-project-runway-zgtHXUYuimOas

    Like

  33. rikyrah says:

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    Liked by 1 person

  34. eliihass says:

    Why oh why does my FLOTUS have to be thrust into this fake mess of a sham …and no less, to help out folks who have actually been an active and stealth part of spitefully and maliciously demeaning and dismissing her for years… folks who have never spoken up for her or defended her as she’s been endlessly and viciously dehumanized and maligned for the past 8 years …

    Sorry Paul Simon…no more fake bridges over real troubled waters…time to address these real issues head on…

    Time to reclaim our democracy…

    Time for us to stop faking …time to stop the lies, deceit, corruption…the manipulation and strong-arming by those who think they get to decide – and then command the rest of us of know-nothings just fall in line and take orders..

    Liked by 1 person

  35. rikyrah says:

    Vann R. Newkirk II ✔ @fivefifths
    Already been more PoC on stage than the entire RNC by my unofficial count

    Like

  36. rikyrah says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Like

  37. Liked by 1 person

  38. rikyrah says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    this is one long azz gif…LOL

    Like

  41. Like

  42. Like

  43. Folks are finally waking up…

    Like

  44. Like

  45. Liked by 1 person

  46. Liked by 1 person

  47. I was in College Station this morning. It was hot as everything. When I made it back home, I had a flat tire when I drove in the yard. The hits keep coming. Then I log on to Twitter and have to fight democrats. It’s too much.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Whew! That’s a lot for one day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • eliihass says:

      Thank you for not cowering and shutting up as they’d prefer…

      Thank you for continuing to speak the truth SG…for exposing the lies and sharing so much important information they’d rather folks never knew or found out about…

      Thank you our righteous Twitter Warrior…our unyielding truth-teller…

      Thank you for taking the hits and the abuse on our behalf and on behalf of our democracy and our party…

      Know that we are right here with you…If you need anything, please let us know…

      Liked by 1 person

  48. eliihass says:

    This was at the Bernie endorsement joint event…

    They were trying to snatch folks stuff on the sly..

    What has our party become…Meanwhile they’re busy tsk, tsking at the repubs…when they are no better..

    Like

  49. eliihass says:

    Like

  50. eliihass says:

    Like

  51. eliihass says:

    Like

  52. eliihass says:

    Like

  53. eliihass says:

    She had absolutely no idea about the DNC e-mails… and didn’t have enough information yet to condemn it…LOL..

    Liked by 1 person

  54. eliihass says:

    Like

  55. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: Suspected Russian hack of DNC widens — includes personal email of staffer researching Manafort
    Michael Isikoff
    Chief Investigative Correspondent

    Just weeks after she started preparing opposition research files on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort last spring, Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa got an alarming message when she logged into her personal Yahoo email account.

    “Important action required,” read a pop-up box from a Yahoo security team that is informally known as “the Paranoids.” “We strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors.”

    Chalupa — who had been drafting memos and writing emails about Manafort’s connection to pro-Russian political leaders in Ukraine — quickly alerted top DNC officials. “Since I started digging into Manafort, these messages have been a daily oc­­­­currence on my Yahoo account despite changing my p­­a­ssword often,” she wrote in a May 3 email to Luis Miranda, the DNC’s communications director, which included an attached screengrab of the image of the Yahoo security warning.

    “I was freaked out,” Chalupa, who serves as director of “ethnic engagement” for the DNC, told Yahoo News in an interview, noting that she had been in close touch with sources in Kiev, Ukraine, including a number of investigative journalists, who had been providing her with information about Manafort’s political and business dealings in that country and Russia.

    “This is really scary,” she said.

    Chalupa’s message is among nearly 20,000 hacked internal DNC emails that were posted over the weekend by WikiLeaks as the Democratic Party gathered for its national convention in Philadelphia. Those emails have already provoked a convulsion in Democratic Party ranks, leading to the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the wake of posted messages in which she and other top DNC officials privately derided Bernie Sanders and plotted to undercut his insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton.

    Like

  56. rikyrah says:

    CNN’s Harry Houck Promotes Video Calling On Obama To “Ban Niggas”
    Video Claims “More People Murdered In A Day By Niggly Bears Than In A Year By Grizzly Bears”
    CARLOS MAZA

    CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck promoted a video that calls for President Obama to “ban niggas” in order to reduce violent crime, continuing Houck’s long history of peddling racist tropes about the African-American community.

    On July 25, Houck posted a link to a video on his Twitter account featuring Atlanta radio host and men’s rights activist Tommy Sotomayor, in which Sotomayor said that Obama should “ban niggas” because black men commit more violent crimes than other groups. Houck tweeted the video with the comment, “He knows what he’s talking about!”:

    Like

  57. eliihass says:

    Sorry fam, but I beg to differ…

    Donna Brazile is as slippery and dishonest and split-tongued, and mealy-mouthed and self-serving and inept and as corrupt and sneaky and cowardly as the whole lot of them..

    There are plenty of smart, decent, upright, honest, principled black women of unimpeachable character, who aren’t coons or kiss-ups and who are neither compromised or beholden to the Clintons…or anyone else for that matter..

    Marcia Fudge and Donna Brazile are certainly not those black women..

    Like

  58. rikyrah says:

    5 Ways Republicans Are On The Verge Of Unprecedented Political Domination
    July 25, 2016 12:30 am

    You have to give the Republicans who have decided not to get on the #TrumpTrain — possibly the world’s all-time worst metaphor given Trump’s unique appeal to hordes of online antisemites — a little credit.

    Sure, they’d love to accomplish all the things Trump would have to do as president to avoid an inevitable primary challenge, including gutting Medicare, slashing taxes for billionaires and their kids, and guaranteeing that big oil will be able to accelerate climate change by slashing regulations. But they’re willing to risk all that because they’re clear-headed enough to be scared shitless by him. They recognize Trump’s unique disregard for the truth, societal norms, and the institutions that have kept the world from avoiding World War III.

    Even if Trump weren’t the nominee, America is on the verge of a massive decision, unlike any we’ve faced in our lifetime.

    More than fifty years ago, conservatives began a quest to reverse the gains of the New Deal, the Great Society and Civi Rights movement by fighting for an agenda that would gut the federal government’s powers to guarantee benefits, establish parity between workers and basses, and protect individual rights. And they’re on the verge of achieving the power necessary to do all of that and more. That the party is still on the verge of a crackup given the enormous spoils of a convincing win in November is a tribute to the unique threat Trump presents.

    @LOLGOP
    5 Ways Republicans Are On The Verge Of Unprecedented Political Domination
    July 25, 2016 12:30 am / 48 Comments / Congress, Featured Post, Politics, Top News
    5 Ways Republicans Are On The Verge Of Unprecedented Political Domination
    Share this on Facebook75Tweet about this0Share this on Google+1Share this on Linkedin0Share this on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this page
    TAGS

    CAMPAIGN FINANCE
    DONALD TRUMP
    REPUBLICAN PARTY
    STATE LEGISLATURES
    SUPREME COURT
    Republish
    Reprint
    You have to give the Republicans who have decided not to get on the #TrumpTrain — possibly the world’s all-time worst metaphor given Trump’s unique appeal to hordes of online antisemites — a little credit.

    Sure, they’d love to accomplish all the things Trump would have to do as president to avoid an inevitable primary challenge, including gutting Medicare, slashing taxes for billionaires and their kids, and guaranteeing that big oil will be able to accelerate climate change by slashing regulations. But they’re willing to risk all that because they’re clear-headed enough to be scared shitless by him. They recognize Trump’s unique disregard for the truth, societal norms, and the institutions that have kept the world from avoiding World War III.

    Even if Trump weren’t the nominee, America is on the verge of a massive decision, unlike any we’ve faced in our lifetime.

    More than fifty years ago, conservatives began a quest to reverse the gains of the New Deal, the Great Society and Civi Rights movement by fighting for an agenda that would gut the federal government’s powers to guarantee benefits, establish parity between workers and basses, and protect individual rights. And they’re on the verge of achieving the power necessary to do all of that and more. That the party is still on the verge of a crackup given the enormous spoils of a convincing win in November is a tribute to the unique threat Trump presents.

    Here are five ways the GOP will achieve almost unprecedented political domination of the United States of America.

    1. An executive promising to take executive powers beyond even Nixon at his worst
    2. A Congress intent of revising government’s role into one that primarily comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted.
    3. A Supreme Court willing to toss out precedents.
    4. Total Republican control of a majority of states.
    5. A victory that would mean mass deportations and a culture of vengeance towards non-white Americans.

    Like

  59. Liked by 1 person

  60. eliihass says:

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Liked by 2 people

  62. Liked by 2 people

  63. So frightening. A woman was killed by a tiger and another injured after the pair got out of their vehicle after an argument.

    Tiger Attack in Beijing’s wildlife park, China

    Like

  64. Tyren M. says:

    Good morning 3Chics,
    I’m looking forward to hearing FLOTUS speak. After that, time for evening jog. Have a great day all.

    Liked by 3 people

  65. Liked by 2 people

  66. No one forced the DNC to be biased against a candidate and write those emails. DNC did it to themselves. They killed democracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liza says:

      The GOP has turned itself into a freak show and the Democrats are just dirty politicians. I hate this election. I keep thinking it can’t get worse, then it does.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ametia says:

      TELL IT. Take responsibility for the content and those EMAILS. Until then, they are no better than the so-called Russians who they’re claiming hacked the emails.

      Liked by 1 person

  67. Pure chaos! #DebbieWassermanSchultz screaming a speech over the boos. Why would she want to even speak? Such arrogance

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liza says:

      She probably figures that her current situation is temporary especially when Hillary, if elected, rewards her with a BIG JOB in the WH.

      Like

  68. rikyrah says:

    The Democratic Women Who Could Retake the Senate
    In 6 of the 12 most vulnerable seats now held by Republicans, the challengers are women.

    by Anne Kim
    July 25, 2016 7:00 AM

    Hillary Clinton is set to make history as America’s first female major-party presidential candidate – and potentially its first female president. But women could also make a defining difference in the U.S. Senate, where female candidates may also help deliver the Democratic majority a President Clinton would need to help support her agenda in Congress.

    In six of the 12 most vulnerable Republican-held Senate seats this cycle, the Democratic challenger is a woman. Republicans currently hold the Senate with a margin of 54 to 44, which means that a sweep by these female candidates would be more than enough to put Democrats over the top this fall. The strength among women Senate candidates this year is part of a general trend toward more women running for elected office. The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University reports that the total number of women running for the Senate this year (including primaries) is at an historic high.

    Among the women running in competitive races who could help deliver the Senate to Democrats in November:

    Like

  69. rikyrah says:

    I want to see the crosstabs of this poll. Ferret Head is polling at 0% with Black people, and low teens with Latinos. Where DA PHUQ do they get 21%?

    Like

  70. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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