Another day, another example of those no ties to Russia.
Alexander Shnaider, a Russian-Canadian developer who built the 65-story Trump International Hotel and Tower, put money into the project after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from a separate asset sale that involved the Russian bank, whose full name is Vnesheconombank.
Trump Tower? Home to Bayrock and a Russian money laundering ring.
Trump SoHo? Developed by Russian crime bosses.
Trump’s Florida condos? Owned by mobsters working for a “crime boss based in Russia.”
Trump’s biggest home sale? To a Russian oligarch.
Trump’s golf courses? Financed by Russian backers.
And now Trump International received a secondhand loan from a Russian bank that’s currently under US sanctions. No matter how many times Trump claims …
“I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia. I have no loans with Russia at all.”
That doesn’t make these connections go away. And the latest one is more than just another mobster. Because it looks like a series of steps were made to get money from the Russian government, to Donald Trump.
Because of sanctions applied under President Obama, Vnesheconombank wouldn’t have been able to directly fund Trump’s hotel. However, first Shnaider made a little money on steel …
Mr. Shnaider sold his company’s share in a Ukrainian steelmaker for about $850 million in 2010, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. According to two people with knowledge of the deal, the buyer, which hasn’t been identified publicly, was an entity acting for the Russian government. VEB initiated the purchase and provided the money, these people say.
Then money made its way to Trump …
After Mr. Shnaider and his partner sold their stake in the steelmaker, Mr. Shnaider injected more money into the Trump Toronto project, which was financially troubled. Mr. Shnaider’s lawyer, Symon Zucker, said in an April interview that about $15 million from the asset sale went into the Trump Toronto project.
The next day Zucker turned around and said that he couldn’t confirm the exchange, because $15 million that could be traced back to the Russian government ending up in Trump’s pocket might seem to be a little too neat.
The Trump Organization denied having any connection to Vnesheconombank, and of course, they didn’t … directly. But this sort of secondhand money from Russia is exactly the sort of income that was ignored when Trump had his accountants put out a No Russia Here note last week.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.