Trump Denies Any Financial Links to Russia
Trump denies any connections with Russia, However, yesterday, President-elect Trump tweeted, “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” However, in previous years he has had some dealings in the country.
One dealing involved the Miss Universe Moscow contest. Trump made millions of dollars when he partnered with Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov to host the beauty contest. He tweeted Agalarov saying, “I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job.”
Trump also was involved with Trump Vodka. Although he did not put down any money he simply put his name on a brand and received royalties from the sales. The company’s former CEO told CNNMoney that they didn’t make much headway into the Russian market.
Trump also attempted to build ‘Trump Tower Moscow.’ The deal fell through before it started. Trump said, “It was a Trump International Hotel and Tower. It would be a nonexclusive deal, so it would not have precluded me from doing other deals in Moscow, which was very important to me.”
Trump also sold his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire, for $95 million.
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Trump’s businesses “see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There’s indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble.”
Eight trademarks were created for Trump by the law firm of Sojuzpatent. These included “Trump,” “Trump Home,” and “Trump Tower.”
Trump also partnered with the Bayrock group. This company was operated by Soviet immigrants and financed by Russian and Kazakhstan money. Together they developed properties in Florida and New York.
Trump also has at least three advisers: Carter Page, Richard Burt, and Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn who have strong ties to Russia. Page spent years in Moscow where he was responsible for opening the Merrill-Lynch office. He was an adviser on key transactions for Gazprom, RAO UES and others. However, Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer said the president-elect had never met Page.
Burt has long-standing ties to the Russian diplomatic and investment communities due to his roles in government and business. He has advised Russian Alfa Bank. He presently runs the advisory board for the Center for the National Interest. There he writes policy pieces for the magazine and is closely connected to the center’s president, Dimitri Simes. Simes is a former Nixon aide and friend of Putin.
Flynn was selected as the next US national security adviser. In the latter part of 2015 he went to Moscow and sat next to Putin at a gala for the Russian news channel RT. He believes that US and Russia should team up and work together more effectively to fight ISIS.