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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

 
Why people shouldn't stop caring about the Trump Organization's corrupt dealings

by digby

















According to this Newsweek report, foreign allies are collecting intel on Trump';s ties to Russia, which I think we probably knew. (We knew about the British anyway.)

But this is of continuing interest --- to me, at least:
To date, the Republican-controlled Congress has declined to conduct hearings to investigate the links between Trump’s overseas business partners and foreign governments, or the activities between Russia and officials in the Trump campaign and administration—the very areas being examined by the intelligence services of at least two American allies.

Some details about Trump’s business partners were passed to the American government months ago. For example, long before the president’s inauguration, German electronic surveillance determined that the father of Trump’s Azerbaijani business partner is a government official who laundered money for the Iranian military; that information was shared with the CIA, according to a European source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Of equal concern to our allies is Trump’s business partner in the Philippines, who is also the special representative to Washington of that country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte. This government official, Jose E.B. Antonio, is the head of Century Properties, which in turn is a partner with the president’s business in the construction of Trump Tower at Century City in Makati, Philippines. According to people with direct knowledge of the situation, a European intelligence service has obtained the contracts and other legal documents in the deal between the Trump Organization and Antonio. That deal has already resulted in large payments to Trump’s business, with millions of dollars more on the way—all coming from an agent of the Philippine president.

The financial relationship between an American president and the Philippine government comes at a time when the historic alliance between the West and the Southeast Asian country is under great stress. Since the election last year of Duterte, a campaign of slaughter has gripped the Philippines, with death squads murdering thousands of suspected drug users in the streets. The carnage, which intelligence officials have concluded is being conducted with Duterte’s involvement, has been condemned throughout the Western world; the Parliament of the European Union and two United Nations human rights experts have urged Duterte to end the massacre.

Duterte has responded by signaling his government could tilt its alliances away from the West, instead turning to China as its primary ally. Such a move could be devastating, given that the American armed forces maintains large military bases there. The situation with the Philippines “is already an enormous challenge,” one official with direct knowledge of the European intelligence operations said. “President Trump’s business there is a complicating factor that we are trying to assess.”

There's more about Rex Tillerson and the Russian energy sector which is a very live subject in Europe, for obvious reasons.

I know it's all like something out of a cheap novel. But the Trump Organization, now being run day to day by Uday and Qusay, is not withdrawing from its global business dealings. They're pretty much doing whatever they want knowing there's nothing anyone will do to stop them and that nobody really cares if they become the richest men in the world by selling the United States foreign policy to the highest bidder.

It is causing lots of problems regardless, since the world order that's been in place for 60 years has just been completely upended by the election of this corrupt imbecile as the leader of the world's only super power. Regardless of how you feel about America's role, simply blowing everything up and hoping with all your might that everything turns out ok is not a rational way to change things. Trump's half-wit boys are running all over the world making "deals" without having the first clue about the larger ramifications.


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