The following is an excellent article written by Mark Sumner on the Daily Kos website on May 12, 2017 titled “AP Reports Trump’s Tax Returns Show No Russian Money . . . Except None of that Is True” and I quote:
Big breaking news … except for the part where it’s not big, or breaking, or news.
It sure sounds important, and provides a nice distraction from Trump throwing a raving fit and threatening the FBI director he fired earlier in the week and admitting he fired that FBI director over the Russia investigation after saying that it was definitely not about the Russia investigation and wasn’t really Trump’s idea at all. Anyway …
So Trump released ten years worth of tax returns? No. No, he didn’t. What he released was a letter from his lawyers. That letter claims that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, hasn’t had any Russian income since 2005. So, no Russian income. Except, you know, for the $13 million everyone already knew about and the $95 million home he sold to a Russian oligarch at more than twice its market price. So, only over a hundred million in Russian income. Oh, and other things that were “not identified as ‘Russian’ in your books and records and therefore not separately reflected on your tax returns.” So, somewhere between the hundred million everyone already knows about and infinity.
There’s also the little problem that the statement doesn’t even begin to address other issues. Issues like companies that are incorporated elsewhere, but whose funding originates in Russia. Like say, the company that’s headquartered in Trump Tower.
Hunting for partners with cash, he turned to a small upstart called the Bayrock Group …
And you can bet that the numbers from Bayrock? They’re not on that list of Russia funding. But they should be.
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets…”
What made Eric Trump say this about Trump’s golf course funding?
“Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
It wasn’t nice fat checks stamped “Russian government payment to Donald Trump.” It was companies like this:
Hunting for partners with cash, he turned to a small upstart called the Bayrock Group, which would pull together massive real estate deals using the Trump name. Its chairman was a former Soviet official named Tevfik Arif, who made a small fortune running luxe hotels in Turkey. To run Bayrock’s operation, Arif hired Felix Satter, a Soviet-born, Brighton Beach–bred college dropout. Satter changed his name to Sater, likely to distance himself from the criminal activity that a name-check would easily turn up. …
Bayrock put together deals for mammoth Trump-named, Trump-managed projects—two in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a resort in Phoenix, the Trump SoHo in New York. Several of those projects broke ground, but they were a mere prelude. “Mr. Trump was particularly taken with Mr. Arif’s overseas connections,” the Times reported (after buyers of units in the Trump SoHo sued him for fraud).
The location Trump used for filming The Apprentice? Paid for by Bayrock.
So, the breaking news that Trump’s taxes show he hasn’t received Russian money?
1. It’s not his taxes.
2. It’s not news.
3. It shows that $100 million is just the start of Trump’s connection to Russian sources.