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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some random corruption stuff

by digby

This came in my email from the DNC so take it for what it's worth. Seemed interesting:

The latest On Trump Org And Russia

The Trumps continue to be in touch with the family of Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, a close Kremlin ally who was Putin’s emissary to Trump during his 2013 trip to Moscow.
Forbes: “[Emin Agalarov] described an ongoing relationship with the Trump family, including post-election contact with the president himself…He has maintained contact with the Trump family since the election, and has exchanged messages with Donald Trump Jr. as recently as January; and that President Trump himself sent a handwritten note to the Agalarovs in November after they congratulated him on his victory.”
Eric Trump complained yesterday that low oil prices are driving Russian oligarchs away from the New York real estate market.
Eric Trump: “Listen, I think in every market you have a little, you know, hem and haw, but you know the great thing about being at 21,000 in terms of stock market is- hey that’s a really, really good thing. There’s a lot of discretionary- income out there and I think real estate’s gonna continue to do really nice and I as the markets—quite frankly—ride up I think, you know, real estate will continue to increase. At the same time, I think you see the adverse effect of, you know, oil prices. For instance, there’s less Russian oligarchs coming into New York City right now because, you know, when oil prices were double what they are right now there’s a lot more discretionary money that, you know, a lot of those countries were coming into the US and putting into the US. Same thing with, quite frankly, you know, China.”
There’s new evidence that Manafort accepted money from Putin’s puppet political party in Ukraine and deliberately hid the payments.

Washington Post: New documents show [Paul Manafort] laundered payments from party with Moscow ties, lawmaker alleges
Tillerson is nixing a meeting with NATO – a Putin foe – but adding a trip to visit Russia

Reuters: Tillerson plans to skip NATO meeting, visit Russia in April – sources
Politico: In 2012, Putin personally bestowed Russia’s Order of Friendship on Tillerson

The White House is desperately trying to distance itself from advisors who were in contact with Russia during Trump’s campaign.
Associated Press: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday referred to Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as a ‘volunteer of the campaign.’ And he said Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign for months, ‘played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.’”
A Russian bank is trying to block examination of its servers’ connections to Trump Org.
Cyber Scoop: “A Russian bank under investigation for possible ties to the Trump Organization has threatened at least one security researcher with a lawsuit over the dissemination of data that point to a server connection between the bank and the first family’s conglomerate.”

It probably means nothing, right? Except that we have a president who has refused to be transparent about his business or divest himself and his family of it. This suggests that he is greedy, corrupt and possibly subject to some kind of blackmail. Also he lies pathologically about everything.

The investigation into the Russian government hacking and the potential involvement of the Trump campaign will continue and we will eventually know if there was anything to it. The corruption, however, is something that the press will have to continue to dig for. It is his --- and our --- greatest vulnerability. It's not just Russia. It's a bunch of criminals and oligarchs all over the world who may have their talons into Trump.