Trump needs political favors as currency to pay off debt to Russian Mobsters!
That’s why he has such a strong affinity for Russia and why he is so subservient to Putin.
Trump’s over-the-top claims about his net worth and business successes have been widely reported as gross exaggerations. The Celebrity Apprentice and Fred Trump’s estate both temporarily lifted Trump out of his financial failures of the 1990s, but now Trump is once again saddled with massive debt with no way of digging himself out.
This time, Trump is indebted to Russian Oligarch mobsters instead of banks and junk-bond holders. Trump has tapped large amounts of Russian funding in attempts to expand his financial empire. The problem? Those investments are tanking and the Russians want their money back. Trump is starting to realize that he can’t walk away from Russian Oligarch mobsters the way he used to repeatedly walk away from institutional lenders and bondholders before they cut him off.
Trump’s Relationships With Russian Mobsters Go Back three decades
Just like Trump’s racism, Trump’s relationships with Russian Oligarch mobsters go back decades. Long before we heard about Pee Pee Tapes, Wikileaks or a Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump cultivated scofflaw business relationships with Russians, helping them to get their ill-gotten fortunes out of Russia.
In his book Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America, May 2000, Robert I. Friedman tells us how Trump Tower in NYC and Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City became the venues of choice to launder Russian money through real estate transactions and cash. Trump’s properties became comfortable places for Russians to mingle. Incidentally, The Taj Mahal was cited 103 times by Federal Authorities for violating federal money laundering regulations.
This book wasn’t a Trump hit piece. It was a book about the Russian mob that also included research detailing how Trump and Russian mobsters crossed paths as part of the overall narrative. Thisexcerpt demonstrates how Russian Mob boss Vyacheslav Ivankov hid from the FBI at mob-friendly Trump properties.
Russian Mob Boss:
… Despite Ivankov’s flagrant, multinational criminal activities, during his first years in America, the FBI had a hard time even locating him “At first all we had was a name,” says the FBI’s James Moody. “We were looking around, looking around, looking around, and had to go out and really beat the bushes. And then we found out that he was in a luxury condo in Trump Towers” in Manhattan. – But almost as soon as they found him, he disappeared again leaving nothing but vapor trails for the FBI to follow. “Ivankov,” explained an FBI agent, “didn’t come from a walk-and-talk culture,” like Italian gangsters who take walks to discuss family business so they can’t be bugged or overheard by the bureau. “As soon as he’d sniff out the feds, he’d go into hiding for days at a time,” a trait that made him harder to keep tabs on than Italian mobsters.
“He was like a ghost to the FBI,” says Gregory Stasiuk, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force special investigator. Stasiuk picked up Ivankov’s trail at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, the Trump-owned casino that the real estate magnate boasted was the “eighth wonder of the world.” The Taj Mahal had become the Russian mob’s favorite East Coast destination. As with other high rollers, scores of Russian hoodlums received “comps” for up to $100,000 a visit for free food, rooms, champagne, cartons of cigarettes, entertainment, and transportation in stretch limos and helicopters…
From the Author’s Footnotes: A copy of Ivankov’s personal phone book, which was obtained by the author, included a working number for the Trump Organization’s Trump Tower Residence, and a Trump Organization office fax machine.
In another excerpt, the author exemplifies how money was laundered through Trump properties and a Mafia-controlled bank.
… David Bogatin’s European businesses were taken over by Sergei Mikhailov, who later sold them. (Before he fled the United States, he turned over his mortgages for five pricey Trump Tower apartments to a Genovese associate. The mortgages were liquidated and the funds were moved through a Mafia-controlled bank in Manhattan’s Chelsea.)
After institutional lenders kicked trump to the curb, Trump turned to Russian sources
In the 1990s, American banks worked with Trump on a number of his projects, and he burned them badly. When bank lending dried up. trump tried the public funding route with junk-bonds to help his ailing Taj Majal. He burned bondholders, investors, vendors and employees badly. He burned the banks, bondholders and investors so badly, they wouldn’t touch anything having to do with Trump after that. Trump’s interests in and connections to Russian Oligarchs grew significantly after all other sources of funding dried up. Trump discovered that Putin’s Oligarch buddies were golf aficionados and had cash that Trump could tap, so he borrowed a substantial amount of money from them — possibly a hundred million dollars or more, despite his claims otherwise.
Trump denies having any financial connections with Russians, “NO NOTHING”
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Trump Jr. contradicts his father, claiming Russians funded a “disproportionate” amount
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”
— DJ Trump Jr. speaking at a Russian real estate conference.
Eric Trump also contradicts his father, going to the Russians “all the time” for money
James Dodson: “So when I got in the cart with Eric, as we were setting off, I said Eric,
who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one is funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.”
Eric Trump: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
James Dodson: ”Really?”
Eric Trump: “Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys [Russians] that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time [for cash].”
Dodson afterthought: “He just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.”
Trump’s Russian-funded businesses are failing
Trump’s businesses around the world have been failing, and Trump’s Russian funded golf properties are no different. An article from Reuters in 2016 tells us that Trump’s entire golf portfolio has lost half its value.
“A Reuters examination of Trump’s golf empire earlier this year, based on his own comments and official filings, calculated that he had spent over $1.1 billion building a portfolio that was now worth about half that sum.”
Other Trump businesses are failing around the world
When Russian mobsters lose half of their investment, they aren’t happy about it. If you extrapolate from Eric Trump’s conversation, the Russians lost $50 million or more, possibly into the hundreds of millions.
What makes matters even worse, it isn’t just the golf properties. Trump’s businesses are failing across the board, leaving Trump with no way to pay back the Russians.
- The PGA and R&A have pulled multiple tournaments from Trump’s courses. This is costing Trump millions in shared event revenue and millions more in marketing goodwill — every year.
- Occupancy rates and room rates at Trump Hotels have declined precipitously. Owners of four major hotels globally have disassociated themselves from the Trump brand.
- Even in Trump’s Manhattan back yard, condo owners are removing the Trump branding from their buildings because it’s hurting their property values.
President Donald Trump’s net worth has declined by more than $1 billion since the year he launched his presidential campaign at the foot of Trump Tower’s escalator, Forbes reported Tuesday [October 2018]…
… The president’s net worth stands at $3.1 billion, down from $4.5 billion in 2015, Forbes said. As a result, Trump has tumbled down the Forbes 400 list, the latest edition of which will be published in full Wednesday [October 2018].
Trump fears Russian bill collectors
Trump owes Russian Oligarch Mobsters hundreds of millions of dollars and he has no way to pay them back. Trump isn’t afraid of Pee Pee Tapes. Trump is afraid of Russian bill collectors with Novichok and Polonium 210 in their carry-on luggage. Not only is he afraid for himself, he is afraid for his adult children who are also tightly intertwined with the Trump Organization and may also be vulnerable.
Even if you consider existential fear to be hyperbole, there is no question that Trump fears the Russian Oligarchs to whom he owes millions of dollars. That is the reason he displays such a strong affinity for Russia over the United States, and such subservience to Putin and his Oligarch mobster cronies — at the expense of America’s interests. Putin is pressuring Trump to make good on his Russian debt and Trump is complying.