There’s a lot of chatter about Russia and Trump. It keeps going and going and going, doesn’t it? Come on, who believes that? Why can’t our political system be more like a reality TV show than a crime mystery? …
It seems like there were 1,000 meetings between top Russians and core Trump associates in the past year or two, which makes it seem like Trump’s team may have done something treasonous, but here’s something to remember: Putin and Russian mobsters have been working this family for a lot longer than the past two years. In fact, if Putin had his pick for an exceptionally pocketed family of “useful idiots” to run the United States, I think he couldn’t have come up with a more ideal choice.
Another thing to remember — the United States is full of uninformed yet opinionated voters who don’t know enough about what’s happening to know the difference between idyllic ice cream and societal poison. Case in point: interview people on the street for their informed political opinion and they will tell you Hillary Clinton should be impeached. (In case you haven’t done much in the way of political education lately, one key point is that’s impossible since Clinton isn’t in office.)
Anyhow, the point here today is that we don’t have to worry the United States was stolen by Russia since …
1. Russian oligarchs didn’t save the career and personal finances of our president decades ago (and possibly multiple times since then). … Right?
2. Russians didn’t continually loan The Trump Organization money when no one in the United States would. … Right?
3. Trump’s former campaign chairman also didn’t owe Russians millions. … Right?
4. That same campaign chairman didn’t previously work for a Russia-backed Ukrainian president and thief who fled to Russia when a Ukrainian uprising came for their money … right?
5. Trump’s 79 year old billionaire Secretary of Commerce wasn’t the only American board member on a Cyprus bank dominated by KGB- and Putin-connected Russians that was laundering money with the help of Deutsche Bank … right? He wasn’t the majority shareholder of that Russian-packed bank … right?
6. It’s not like that same Commerce Secretary has kept substantial ownership in a Russian shipping company that would benefit from sanctions being lifted on the country’s billionaire class … right?
7. Trump campaign officials didn’t repeatedly meet with Russians about lifting sanctions on Russian billionaires … right?
8. Russian actors and their help abroad didn’t repeatedly mention to top Trump campaign officials that Russia was on Trump’s side and would help to get him elected … right?
9. It’s not like Russian criminals continuously and obsessively use Trump properties to launder huge amounts of money … while Trump looks the other way … and while also allowing hidden, anonymous buyers to purchase the properties through secretive shell corporations.
10. It’s not like Trump had been personally meeting with Russians laundering insane amounts of money through his properties since 1984. More on that …
“A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money. Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics. ‘They saved his bacon,’ says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.”
11. It’s not like Donald Trump Jr. admitted in 2008, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. … We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
12. It’s not like areas around Trump’s properties now get nicknamed “Little Moscow” from all of the dirty Russian money involved.
13. It’s not like entire businesses were even set up to launder dirty Russian money through Trump properties, and that Trump formed business partnerships with some of them … right?
14. It’s not like the one European bank that has repeatedly bailed out Donald Trump, as well as loaned Jared Kushner’s company hundreds of millions of dollars, Deutsche Bank, has a “cooperation agreement” with Vnesheconombank, a Russian bank sanctioned by the US … and it’s not like that Russian bank’s Putin-appointed CEO, Sergey Gorkov, secretly met with Jared Kushner in December … right?
15. It’s not like Trump’s first National Security Adviser, the quickest fired in history, failed to disclose to the US government before taking the job that he had been paid to give a speech at a Russian media agency conference and then sat at a table there next to Vladimir Putin.
16. And, hey, it’s not like Trump fired the independent FBI director who was getting closer and closer to the truth and wouldn’t just shut the investigation down at Trump’s request. Why would he do something so crazy if he knew the investigation was harmless and wouldn’t find anything?
17. And, hey, it’s not like Putin is one of the only people in the world Trump hasn’t criticized and apparently can’t be persuaded to criticize for any of the horrible things he has done.
Oh, and remember that time when Republican members of the House of Representatives joked that Donald Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll?