Sunday, June 18, 2017

Donald Trump's links to the Russian Mob.


Dutch documentary investigates Trump’s past links to the Russian mob.

Trump told reporters in February: "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." 

Donald Trump said in a recent interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, "I have had dealings over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant — which I owned for quite a while — I had it in Moscow a long time ago. But other than that, I have nothing to do with Russia."

The truth is that Trump is lying. Donald Trump has deep Russian connections that far exceed what he admitted to. In 2013, after Trump addressed potential investors in Moscow, he bragged to Real Estate Weekly about his access to Russia's rich and powerful. “I have a great relationship with many Russians, and almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump said, referring to Russians who made fortunes when former Soviet state enterprises were sold to private investors.

In September 2008, Donald Trump Jr. gave the following statement to the “Bridging U.S. and Emerging Markets Real Estate” conference in Manhattan: “In terms of high-end product influx into the United States, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” 

He refers specifically to the Soho venture in which Trump partnered with the Russian-connected Bayrock group.

New York City real estate broker Dolly Lenz said she sold about 65 condos in Trump World at 845 U.N. Plaza in Manhattan to Russian investors, many of whom sought personal meetings with Trump for his business expertise. “I had contacts in Moscow looking to invest in the United States,” Lenz said. “They all wanted to meet Donald. They became very friendly.” Many of those meetings happened in Trump's office at Trump Tower or at sales events, Lenz said.

I am amazed that none of the major media outlets in the USA have released this information. This is the most damning evidence I have seen of Trump's multiple criminal activities. 50 years of lies and cons. Trump's association with criminal figures isn't going to go away. After six bankruptcies, US banks stopped making loans to him. One Billion Dollars in debt, no bank in New York would lend him a dime. To expand his real estate empire, Donald Trump and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics, allegedly connected to organized crime, Trump and company have had business dealings with Russians that go back decades.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations and money laundering schemes. efforts to launch real estate ventures in Russia through Bayrock Associates, a Russian-connected outfit. Bayrock had partnered with Trump on at least four major but failed American projects: the Fort Lauderdale Trump Tower, the Trump Ocean Club in Fort Lauderdale, the SoHo condominium-hotel in New York, and a resort in Phoenix. Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities.

Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies – corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before. What’s interesting about this is: It’s not the first time. A decade ago, when Donald Trump’s seventh bankruptcy had wiped out his ability to borrow, he was dragged back from the brink of financial failure by money from Russian oligarchs. That infusion of money came not only in the form of big investments in new building projects, it also came through a money-laundering scheme that created LLCs for the express purpose of grabbing Trump properties at premium prices.

Bayrock had its office on the 24th floor of Trump Tower, and its 2007 brochure featured a photo of Trump and Tevfik Arif, a principal Bayrock partner, who served for 17 years in the Soviet government before emigrating to the United States. It called the Trump Organization a “strategic partner,” and listed Trump as their primary reference.

Among them:
• Felix Sadar, a Russian-born managing director at Bayrock, is a twice-convicted felon, and is a founding member of Bayrock, a firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York. Felix Sadar is the son of the head of the Russian mafia, and who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man. Felix Sater,was convicted of assault in 1991. Then, in 1998, federal prosecutors convicted Sater of fraud, for running a $40 million penny stock fraud in collaboration with the New York and Russian Mafia. In return for a guilty plea, Sater reportedly agreed to work as a government informant.

•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme.

• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused in federal indictments of belonging to a Russian-American organized crime group and working for a major international crime boss based in Russia.

•  A former mayor from Kazakhstan was accused in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 of hiding millions of dollars looted from his city, some of which was spent on three Trump SoHo units.

•  A Ukrainian owner of two Trump condos in Florida was indicted in a money-laundering scheme involving a former prime minister of Ukraine.

Trump's Russian connections are of heightened interest because of an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian operatives to interfere in last fall's election.  The FBI apparently knew, directly or indirectly, based upon available facts, that prior to Election Day, Trump and his campaign had personal and business dealings with individuals and entities linked to criminal elements — including reputed Russian gangsters — connected to Putin.

The FBI can't talk about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia because it would jeopardize a sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.

The plaintiffs in a 2015 racketeering case against Bayrock, Sater, and Arif, among others, alleged in the civil lawsuit that: “for most of its existence Bayrock was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated,” engaging “in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement.” Although the lawsuit does not allege complicity by Trump, it claims that Bayrock exploited its joint ventures with Trump as a conduit for laundering money and evading taxes. The lawsuit cites as a “Concrete example of their crime, Trump SoHo stands 454 feet tall at Spring and Varick, where it also stands monument to spectacularly corrupt money-laundering and tax evasion.”


Trump’s 2013 sojourn in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant was far less innocent that he would have us believe. According to the Washington Post, the deal to bring the pageant to Russia was “financed in part by the development company of a Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov.… a Putin ally who is sometimes called the ‘Trump of Russia’ because of his tendency to put his own name on his buildings.”

While in Moscow, Trump met with Russian oligarchs who were closely aligned with President Vladimir Putin, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of the state-controlled Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank. In 2014, the United States and the European Union sanctioned Sberbank in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The Russian market is attracted to me,” Trump said. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” he bragged. He tweeted, “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”

The Bayrock Group’s Felix Sater emerges again during the Trump campaign and presidency. Sater contributed the maximum $5,400 to Donald Trump’s campaign. Then on February 19, 2017, the New York Times reported that “A week before Trump fired Michael Flynn resigned as national security advisor, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.”

The Times said that three men were responsible for developing and delivering the plan: Andrew Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, and Andrii V. Artemenko, a pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament.

The third man was none other than Trump’s former business partner and convicted fraudster, Felix Sater. How and why Sater became involved with a key member of the Trump administration in the most sensitive of diplomatic transactions between the United States and Russia remains one of the many mysteries to be resolved by congressional and FBI investigators.

“I Can’t Go into Those Details Here”

Former FBI Director James Comey said In his March 20 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that he could not go into detail about its probe into the Trump administration’s Russian connection. If he had we may have learned that for more than three decades the FBI has had Trump Tower in its sights. Many of its occupants have been targets of major investigations. One thing many of them have in common is deep ties to organized crime — including the Russian mafia.

Felix Sater fits all of these categories. A convicted felon, Sater worked in Trump Tower, made business deals with Donald Trump through Sater’s real estate firm, Bayrock, and later scouted for  investments in Russia on behalf of Trump. Sater cooperated with the FBI and CIA and was subsequently protected by the DOJ from prosecution. The Moscow-born immigrant now lives in New Jersey and remains deeply linked to Russia and Ukraine. 

The FBI has spent years untangling the financial machinations of Bayrock — which they allege involve hundred of millions of dollars in claims arising from, among other things, money laundering and fraud.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Russian Cyber attacks were much more prevasive than we thought

Boomberg article reveals more details.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states.

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-states-threatens-future-u-s-elections

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Money Laundering: Trumps real Russian connection



The list of Donald Trump's Russian connections just keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

It's no coincidence that Donald Trump has very deep financial ties to Russians going back decades. This may explain why he is hesitant to release his tax returns. 

This is also why the Treasury Department financial crimes division is looking into charges of money laundering. Here is how I believe it works: Russians deposit large sums of money to the bank of Cypress and subsequently the money was transferred to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other offshore tax havens. They then buy real estate thru the shell companies and use that to secure millions in loans.

The New York Times reported Wednesday night that investigators are looking into a specific type of connection: money laundering. If they find evidence that members of the Trump team received money from Moscow and then tried to hide it, the implications would be hugely significant. It would show there were money transfers worth hiding — and you don’t do that if what you’re doing is lawful.


Let’s first be clear about what money laundering is. Money laundering, in its simplest form, is making it seem like money that comes from X place actually comes from Y place. It can help make an illegal money transfer appear like it was a run-of-the-mill, everyday exchange. Without laundering, the illegal money transfer would connect the lawbreaking parties, making it easier for law enforcement to identify the wrongdoers.

 It appears Robert Muller has recruited an experienced Justice Department trial attorney, Lisa Page,  whose résumé boasts intriguing hints about where Mueller's Russia investigation might lead. Page has deep experience with money laundering and organized crime cases, including investigations where she's partnered with an FBI task force in Budapest, Hungary, that focuses on eastern European organized crime. That Budapest task force helped put together the still-unfolding money laundering case against Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a one-time business partner of  Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort. News reports speculate that Mueller could be investigating potential money-laundering by Trump team members.
Dmitry Firtash: This Guy looks guilty..
Dmitry Firtash: Manafort's Business partner
Donald Trump's son mentioned to reporters that the Russians were "pouring money into his golf courses". In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. tells a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” During the speech, Trump Jr. says he traveled to Russia six times in the previous 18 months.
Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.
Trump received a hundred million dollar in payments for a house in Florida that he bought for 50 million dollars just two years earlier. That Mansion was subsequently bulldozed to build a new property. Another Russian with mob connections bought 6 condos from Donald Trump at Trump Towers in New York City in another 100 million dollar sale.

This was another Russian connection. 

Wilbur Ross, Trump and Mike Pence
Wilbur Ross, Trump and Mike Pence
Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, the former head of the Bank of Cyprus with close financial ties to Russians.Wilbur Ross joined with a Russian oligarch and a former KGB official to run a bank in Cyprus. Ross has been a business partner with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire oligarch and Putin ally. Vekselberg is one of the richest men in Russia, in a major financial project involving the Bank of Cyprus, that country’s largest and most significant financial institution. A financial crisis in 2013 led to the bank’s collapse and eventual bailout. The bank had held billions in deposits from wealthy Russians—some of it presumably dirty money or funds deposited there. During its restructuring, a large amount of these deposits were converted into shares, giving Russian plutocrats a majority ownership (on paper) of the bank. Cyprus is known to be awash in dirty Russian money as they tried to bypass sanctions on their bank called VBE. Wilbur Ross oversaw the Bank of Cyprus. In October 2014, Wilbur Ross unveiled a new board of directors for the Bank of Cyprus. He would be one of the members of the board and so would Maksim Goldman, a Renova executive representing Vekselberg’s interests. (Vekselbergs’ conglomerate, the Renova Group, had become the bank’s second-largest shareholder.) Also on this board was Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a previous board member whom Russia Today a year earlier had identified as a Putin associate and former KGB official. Ross and Vekselberg also recruited Josef Ackermann, a former head of Deutsche Bank, to come in as chairman. Ross is been involved with this oligarch for the past two years in an arrangement involving over $1 billion.
Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire.

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky
Bank of Cypress and Maksim Goldman

Vladimir Putin and Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson attend a meeting outside Moscow, Russia April 16, 2012.

Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, is our  new Secretary of State, with one major connection to Putin and Moscow. He boasts a long-term relationship with Putin and has cut huge deals with Russia for ExxonMobil. Tillerson is the long-time director of a US-Russian oil company based in the tax haven of the Bahamas. He has opposed US sanctions against Russia that get in the way of more oil deals between ExxonMobil and Putin, like the Kara Sea project. Exxon Mobil stands to regain access to huge reserves of oil if the United States rolls back sanctions on Russia. Tillerson has experience negotiating deals in Russia, and he got to know Putin while chief executive of the world's biggest integrated oil and gas company.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Vladamin Putin, and Rex Tillerson
The U.S.' relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria. ExxonMobil's yearly losses from the halted ventures: $1 billion. As Exxon's chief executive, Tillerson's priority has been to his shareholders, and he has sought to protect the company's substantial interests in Russia. Tillerson has criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia. Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company.

Exxon's operations in Russia represent only a fraction of its global oil and gas production, but a joint venture with Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft to explore and produce fossil fuels in Arctic waters represents a big part of Exxon's potential future production growth. Those projects have been on ice since 2014, when the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its incursions into Ukraine. Exxon said in a filing after the sanctions were put in place that its "maximum before-tax exposure to loss from these joint ventures" totaled $1 billion through the end of 2015.


Exxon and Rosneft entered the joint venture in 2012 to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic Kara Sea and the Black Sea, as well as onshore assets in Siberia. The following year, they advanced their strategic alliance by adding seven more blocks in the Chukchi, Laptev and Kara seas.

Exxon's holdings in Russia's Arctic waters and the Black Sea, which are not producing for the energy giant due to the sanctions, totaled 63.6 million acres. By comparison, Exxon holds 85,000 net acres across its main Russian venture, an offshore project called Sakhalin, which was in place before the sanctions. Rosneft estimates there are 87 billion barrels of oil lying in the three blocks of the Kara Sea covered by its joint venture with Exxon Mobil. The first exploration well in the Kara Sea in the icy Arctic waters above Russia yielded a discovery of 730 million barrels of oil. U.S. sanctions on Russia have prevented Exxon Mobil from exploring assets covering 63.6 million acres. The relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria.



President Trump’s personal lawyer and a former business associate met privately in New York City in Feb. 2017 with a member of the Ukrainian parliament to discuss a peace plan for that country that could give Russia long-term control over territory it seized in 2014 and lead to the lifting of sanctions against Moscow. The meeting with Andrii V. Artemenko, the Ukrainian politician, involved Michael Cohen, a Trump Organization lawyer since 2007, and Felix Sater, a business partner who worked on real estate projects with Trump’s company.
 Andrii V. Artemenko

Felix Sater

Tevfik Arif 
Arif is chairman of the New York real estate company Bayrock Group


Trump has dismissed the assessment, reached unanimously by 17 U.S. intelligence services, that the Russian government directed cyber attacks on the United States to interfere with the U.S. election process. Coincidence? I don't think so.


So far there has been several individuals associated with Donald Trump with deep financial ties to Russian connections:


Campaign Manager Paul Manafort


National Security Adviser Retired General Mike Flynn


Attorney general Jeff Sessions


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer


Carter Page


Erik Prince


Roger Stone


Jared Kushner

Looking into money laundering around Trump is like investigating moisture in the middle of the ocean.
If that’s not enough money laundering for an investigation, read this last:
A Financial Times investigation has found evidence that one Trump venture has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners. The FBI did wiretap Trump Tower to monitor Russian activity, but it had nothing to do with the 2016 Presidential election, it has been reported.
Between 2011 and 2013 the Bureau had a warrant to spy on a high-level criminal Russian money-laundering ring, which operated in unit 63A of the iconic skyscraper — three floors below Mr Trump's penthouse.
The plaintiffs in a 2015 racketeering case against Bayrock, Sater, and Arif, among others, alleged in the civil lawsuit that: “for most of its existence it [Bayrock] was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated,” engaging “in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement.” Although the lawsuit does not allege complicity by Trump, it claims that Bayrock exploited its joint ventures with Trump as a conduit for laundering money and evading taxes. The lawsuit cites as a “Concrete example of their crime, Trump SoHo, [which] stands 454 feet tall at Spring and Varick, where it also stands monument to spectacularly corrupt money-laundering and tax evasion.”
Money laundering is what Trump does.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Defense Department Opens Investigation Into Michael Flynn’s Russia Payment | MSNBC

Published on Apr 27, 2017

NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports on the new investigation being launched by the Defense Department’s Inspector General regarding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Donald Trump and his Russian connections

Donald Trump and his Russian connections.

Team Trump

Donald Trump 

President of the United States and real estate developer. His business contacts in Russia date to the late 1980s.

Millian


Putin


Sater


Kislyak


Artemenko


Agalarov


TIMELINE

1986 | Trump sits next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a luncheon hosted by Leonard Lauder, the oldest son of Estée Lauder who managed the sprawling cosmetic business at the time. Read more 

1987 | Trump visits Moscow and tours various sites in an effort to strike real estate deals in Soviet-era Russia. He stays in a hotel overlooking the Kremlin, and tells Playboy that Russian jets escorted his own on the way to the airport. Read more 

December 1988 | Trump invites Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and his wife to visit Trump Tower in New York, but the meeting never materializes. Read more 

1996 | Trump says he will hold a press conference with a Miami-based tobacco company in Moscow announcing plans to build an office and apartment complex similar to Trump Tower in New York. Read more 

2005 | Trump gave the development company Bayrock a one-year deal to find a site for a Trump Tower. Felix Sater later testified that he identified a former pencil factory as a site for the project, before the deal fell apart. Read more 

Nov. 9, 2013 | While in Moscow for his Miss Universe competition, Trump meets with Russian businessmen, including real estate developer Aras Agalarov, an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Before the pageant, Trump said to MSNBC, "I do have a relationship" with Putin.Read more 

May 2014 | Trump tells a group at the National Press Club that while he was in Moscow, he spoke with Putin "indirectly and directly."

July 2015 | At a town hall in Las Vegas, Trump tells an audience that he knew Putin. "I don't think you'd need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well," he said. Read more 

September 2015 | Putin and Trump are on the season premiere of "60 Minutes." Although Trump would later say in a debate, "I got to know him very well because we were both on '60 Minutes.' We were stablemates," Time magazine revealed that they were interviewed in separate cities. Read more 

December 2015 | Putin says Trump is “colorful" and "talented." Trump calls the compliment an “honor.” Even as ties to Russia become a campaign issue in 2016, Trump refuses to renounce Putin: “A guy calls me a genius, and I’m going to renounce? I’m not going to renounce him.” (Putin has not publicly called Trump a genius.) Read more 

April 2016 | Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attends a speech in Washington in which Trump vows to seek better relations with Russia. The president of the think tank that invited Kislyak said he introduced the two in a receiving line. Read more 

July 2016 | In news conferences and tweets, Trump says he has “nothing to do with Russia,” and "I don't know who Putin is. ... I've never spoken to him." He also tweeted, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.” At the same time, at a news conference, Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's email. Read more 

July 19, 2016 | Donald Trump, long seen as an unlikely candidate in the 2016 presidential election, is nominated as the GOP presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention. Read more 

Nov. 10, 2016 | Two days after the election, a Russian official tells a reporter in Moscow that the Kremlin had been in contact with Trump’s campaign. Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks denies it, saying, “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” Read more 

Jan. 20, 2017 | Inauguration Day. Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. He designates the day as “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Read more 

Jan. 28, 2017 | President Trump and Putin speak on the phone for an hour. Read more 

March 2017 | One of Trump's personal lawyers, Marc E. Kasowitz, is named to the legal team defending Russia’s largest state-run bank in a corporate-raiding case, BuzzFeed reports. Read more 

Paul Manafort 

A political consultant and lobbyist and former Trump campaign chairman, Manafort was also a former business associate of Rick Gates and Roger Stone. Manafort was involved in a couple of million-dollar investment deals with oligarchs linked to Putin. He also advised former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in 2014.

Firtash

TIMELINE

2005 | For nearly a decade starting in 2005, Manafort worked for people with ties to the party of Putin ally and Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych — and for the party itself — in a successful effort to remake Yanukovych's image and return him to the presidency. Read more 

2006 | Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Putin, becomes Manafort's client. He invests in Manafort's Cayman Islands fund, which bought assets primarily in Ukraine. (Later in court, Deripaska accuses Manafort and Rick Gates of defrauding him out of $19 million.) Read more 

2006 | Manafort reportedly signs a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska to secretly advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Associated Press. He also proposed a strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition in former Soviet republics. Before the March 2017 story, Manafort and the Trump administration had said Manafort never worked for Russian interests. Manafort and Deripaska denied that any work was done on behalf of Putin or the Russian government, and the AP account has not been confirmed. Read more 

2008 | Manafort and associate Rick Gates agree to work on a Park Avenue development project with Ukrainian oligarch and steel tycoon Dmitry Firtash, but the project falls apart.Read more 

May 19, 2016 | Manafort formally becomes Trump's campaign chairman and chief strategist. Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is fired June 20. Read more 

Aug. 14, 2016 | A New York Times story alleges Manafort received $12.7 million in secret cash payments from Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych's party between 2005 and 2012. The findings are dubbed the "secret ledger."Read more 

Aug. 19, 2016 | Manafort, whose campaign role at this point had been eclipsed by Stephen K. Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, resigns at the request of Trump. Read more 

March 21, 2017 | A Ukrainian lawmaker releases documents alleging that Manafort laundered payments from Yanukovych's party using offshore accounts in Belize and Kyrgyzstan. Manafort denied receiving those payments. Read more 

March 24, 2017 | Paul Manafort volunteers to be interviewed before the House Intelligence Committee on Russia ties, says Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Read more 

Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn 

Former national security adviser and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn resigned as the NSC head after The Washington Post reported that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others on the true nature of his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, saying he had not privately discussed U.S. sanctions.

RUSSIAN TIES

Putin


Sater


Kislyak

TIMELINE

2013 | Flynn meets Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on a trip to Moscow. Read more 

Dec. 10, 2015 | Flynn is paid more than $45,000 by Russian-government-backed RT for his participation in a Moscow panel honoring the news agency. At a related gala, he sat at the table of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also in 2015, he was paid more than $22,000 by Russia-related entities for two speeches in Washington. Read more 

Before Nov. 8, 2016 | Flynn contacts Kislyak, according to Post reporting. It's not clear how often they communicated or what was discussed. Read more 

December 2016 | Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak meet at Trump Tower for 20 minutes. This was just before the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Read more 

Dec. 29, 2016 | Flynn places five phone calls to Kislyak, who was being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies. The same day, President Obama announces the sanctions. Putin chooses not to retaliate. Read more 

Jan. 12, 2017 | Post columnist David Ignatius reveals that conversations took place between Flynn and Kislyak. On Jan. 15, Vice President Mike Pence says on "Face the Nation" that Flynn had assured him that he and Kislyak did not discuss sanctions. Read more 

Jan. 24, 2017 | Flynn tells FBI interviewers that he did not discuss sanctions with Kislyak, contradicting transcripts from intelligence officials who monitored the calls. Two days later, acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates tells the White House counsel that Flynn had discussed sanctions and could be vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. Trump fired Yates Jan. 30 for refusing to enforce his travel ban. Read more 

Feb. 8, 2017 | Flynn tells a Post reporter that he did not discuss sanctions with Kislyak. The next day, he waffles; a spokesman says Flynn "couldn't be certain that the topic never came up." Also that day, Pence learns from a Post story that the White House knew in January that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions. Read more 

Feb. 13, 2017 | Flynn is fired after news reports revealed that he misled Pence. Read more 

March 7, 2017 | Flynn files paperwork to register as a foreign agent because of lobbying work potentially benefitting Turkey. Days later it is revealed that his lawyers twice alerted the White House counsel during the transition that Flynn may need to register, meaning the nation's top national security voice was also being paid to represent the interests of a another country. Read more 

March 28, 2017 | The Post reports that the Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to block Yates from testifying in a House Intelligence Committee hearing after her lawyer told the Justice Department that her testimony would probably contradict statements by White House officials. Committee chair and former Trump adviser Devin Nunes canceled the hearing. Read more 

Carter Page 

Former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, energy executive and oil industry consultant. Page had worked in Moscow for years as a vice president with Merrill Lynch and made recent trips to Russia.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sechin



Kislyak


TIMELINE

2004-2007 | Page runs the Moscow office of Merrill Lynch. He said he advised the state-run energy conglomerate Gazprom and other energy companies. However, Page's then-supervisor said Page's role was to execute deals rather than to negotiate or advise on them. Read more 

March 2016 | Page is hired by the Trump team. In an interview with Bloomberg News, he says he owns shares of Gazprom and that his stock portfolio had suffered since the United States and Europe imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Read more 

July 7, 2016 | Page gives a speech critical of U.S. policy toward Russia on a Moscow trip that had been approved by Trump's campaign manager on the condition that Page not formally represent the campaign. While there, Page allegedly met with Igor Sechin, a Putin confidant and chief executive of the energy company Rosneft, according to a dossier cited by Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee. Some of the information in the dossier has been verified by U.S. intelligence agencies, while other parts have proved false. Read more 

July 18, 2016 | Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak speaks with Page and campaign adviser J.D. Gordon following a panel at the Republican National Convention, where Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) had also met Kislyak. Read more 

Sept. 26, 2016 | Page leaves the campaign after reports showed he met with Igor Sechin, the head of state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft, and other high-ranking Russian officials during the campaign. Page denies meeting “any of those guys” and volunteers to testify in front of Congress to clear his name. Read more 

April 3, 2017 | BuzzFeed reports Page met with a Russian agent named Victor Podobnyy in 2013 in New York at an energy conference, according to court filings. Page later tells The Washington Post that the reason his name came up in the court filings was because he was helping the Justice Department build its case against Evgeny Buryakov, an undercover Russian agent who was posing as a bank executive in New York at Vnesheconombank. Buryakov was later convicted of foreign espionage. Read more 

Jeff Sessions 

Attorney general. The former senator from Alabama and early Trump supporter recused himself from investigations related to the 2016 campaign after The Post found that, contrary to statements he made in his confirmation hearing, he had met with the Russian ambassador twice during the campaign.

RUSSIAN TIES

Kislyak

TIMELINE

July 18, 2016 | Sessions speaks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a panel hosted by the Heritage Foundation at the Republican National Convention. Read more 

Sept. 8, 2016 | Sessions and Kislyak meet in his Senate office.

Jan 10, 2017 | In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sessions’s nomination to serve as attorney general, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asks about a CNN report on Russian ties to the Trump campaign that had come out that day. During Sessions's answer, he says, "I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it." Read more 

Jan. 17, 2017 | Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asks Sessions in a letter: "Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after Election Day?" Sessions responded, "no." Read more 

March 1, 2017 | The Post reveals Sessions's two meetings with Kislyak. The next day, Sessions reverses his previous statements and — over Trump's objection — says he will recuse himself from investigations related to the campaign. Read more 

Jared Kushner 

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, New York real estate developer. Kushner's circle of friends and business ties includes prominent Russians.

RUSSIAN TIES

Gorkov


Milner


Kislyak

TIMELINE

2015 | Kushner, his brother and a friend start Cadre, a real estate company. Among its investors is Russian tech investor Yuri Milner. Read more 

December 2016 | Kushner, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak meet at Trump Tower for 20 minutes just as the Obama administration was preparing to sanction Russia, according to the New York Times. Kushner sent a deputy to another meeting that month. Later, at Kislyak's request, Kushner met for about half an hour with Sergey N. Gorkov, chief of Vnesheconombank, which is on the U.S. sanctions list. Read more 

Jan. 20, 2017 | Dasha Zhukova, wife of oligarch and Putin friend Roman Abramovich, attends the inauguration as a guest of Ivanka Trump.

March 27, 2017 | White House and Senate officials say Kushner will be available to interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Read more 

Donald Trump Jr. 

Trump's eldest son. Trump Jr. is operating the family business while his father is in office.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sater


TIMELINE

2006 | Felix Sater says he was asked by Donald Trump to escort Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. around Moscow in 2006. Read more 

2008 | Trump tells a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” according to trade publication eTurboNews. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” During the speech, Trump Jr. says he traveled to Russia six times in the previous 18 months. Read more 

October 2016 | Trump visits France to speak to an obscure think tank with ties to Russia.

March 17, 2017 | Reuters reports that 63 people with Russian passports or addresses have invested nearly $100 million in seven Trump properties in South Florida. Read more 

Rex Tillerson 

Secretary of state and former chief executive of ExxonMobil. Tillerson developed extensive ties in Russia during his tenure with the oil giant.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sechin


Putin



TIMELINE

1998 | Tillerson is appointed head of Exxon Neftegas Limited, which was in charge of the U.S. part of the huge Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project off the coast of Siberia. Read more 

2004 | Tillerson becomes president of ExxonMobil around the same time Igor Sechin takes control of Russian oil giant Rosneft, the company in charge of the Russian part of the Sakhalin-1 project. Read more 

2006 | Tillerson uses his relationship with Rosneft to fight off Gazprom, Russia's largest gas producer, from exerting control over the export of gas from Sakhalin-1. Read more 

2011 | Tillerson and Sechin sign the first in a series of deals as part of a landmark “Strategic Cooperation Agreement” that involved drilling in the Russian Arctic and the Black Sea. The agreements led to Tillerson having several direct interactions with then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

April 2012 | Tillerson and Sechin, then deputy prime minister, go on a publicity tour touting the ExxonMobil-Rosneft cooperation.

June 2012 | Tillerson and Sechin are in attendance when Putin inaugurates a new presidential commission on fuel and energy and the three meet again in Moscow later that year. A video shows Putin and Tillerson toasting each other with champagne.

2013 | Tillerson is awarded the “Order of Friendship” by Putin. Read more 

Wilbur Ross 

Commerce Secretary Ross holds a stake in the Bank of Cyprus, which has prominent Russian investors.

RUSSIAN TIES

Vekselberg

TIMELINE

1990s | President Bill Clinton appointed Ross to the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, a USAID effort to bolster businesses in post-Cold-War Russia. Read more 

February 2017 | In Ross's confirmation hearing, senators ask about his stake in the Bank of Cyprus and his relationship with Russian shareholders, including Putin friend Viktor Vekselberg, who was once on oil giant Rosneft's board of directors, and former KGB agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former vice chairman of the bank. Read more 

Roger Stone 

Longtime Trump friend, adviser and political consultant, former business partner of Paul Manafort. Stone claimed to have communicated indirectly with WikiLeaks before the website published emails that the intelligence community said were stolen by Russian agents.

RUSSIAN TIES

Russian hackers

TIMELINE

Aug. 10, 2016 | In a speech to a Florida Republican group, Stone said he'd been in contact with WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange through mutual friends. Read more 

Aug. 21, 2016 | Stone tweets "Trust me, it will soon be Podesta's time in the barrel," referring to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. WikiLeaks released a trove of Podesta's emails in October.

March 11, 2017 | Stone admits corresponding via Twitter on Aug. 14 with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker involved in the WikiLeaks releases. But Stone denies colluding with the Russians. Read more 

J.D. Gordon 

Former Trump campaign adviser. The Republican strategist resisted adding anti-Russia language in the GOP platform and met with Kislyak at the convention.

RUSSIAN TIES

Kislyak

TIMELINE

July 18, 2016 | Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak speaks with Page and campaign adviser J.D. Gordon following a panel at the Republican National Convention, where Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) had also met Kislyak. Read more 

July 2016 | During the convention, a delegate’s proposal regarding U.S. support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels is softened before inclusion in the GOP platform. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort told NBC in August that the change “absolutely did not come from the campaign.” Read more 

March 2017 | Gordon says that he had advocated for the Russia-friendly change in platform, believing it to match Trump’s views, and he had consulted about the matter with “campaign policy colleagues” before the convention.

Michael Caputo 

Adviser to the Trump campaign for the New York primary. The public relations executive was once paid to improve Putin's image in the United States.

RUSSIAN TIES

Putin


TIMELINE

1994-2000 | Caputo moves to Russia shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union and is first employed by U.S. Agency for International Development. He then starts a public relations firm.

2000 | Caputo enters a contract with the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to improve Putin’s image in the United States. He told the Buffalo News that he was “not proud of the work today. But at the time, Putin wasn’t such a bad guy.” Read more 

Rick Gates 

Business associate of Manafort since 2006, Gates helped lead a nonprofit supporting Trump policies, America First. He took a leave of absence in March after The Washington Post reported on his business deals with Manafort.

RUSSIAN TIES

Firtash

TIMELINE

2006 | Gates joins Manafort's firm after oligarch Oleg Deripaska is solicited to become a client. Deripaska invested in Manafort's Cayman Islands fund that bought assets primarily in Ukrainea. (Later, Deripaska accused Manafort and Gates in court of defrauding him out of $19 million.) Read more 

2008 | Manfort and Gates agree to work on a Park Avenue development project with oligarch Dmitry Firtash, but the project falls apart.

2012-2014 | Gates arranges introductions for two Washington lobbying firms — the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC — to represent the European Center for a Modern Ukraine.

2014 | In Washington, Manafort and Gates promote the policy priorities of the political party of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia.

March 2017 | In a brief interview with The Post, Gates describes his work as “supporting the private equity fund started by the firm and democracy building and party building in Ukraine.” Read more 

March 23, 2017 | Gates was forced out of America First Policies for his ties to Manafort after the Associated Press reported that Manafort had worked for Russian government interests. Read more 

Michael Cohen 

Longtime Trump Organization lawyer who became personal counsel to the president following the inauguration. In late January, Cohen met with a Ukrainian lawmaker and agreed to ferry a Russian-backed peace plan for Ukraine to the White House. The New York Times reported Cohen said he left the plan in Flynn's office days before Flynn resigned as national security adviser. Cohen told The Washington Post he threw the plan in the trash.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sater


Artemenko

TIMELINE

Late January 2017 | Felix Sater, Michael Cohen and Andrii V. Artemenko meet in a luxury hotel in Manhattan to discuss Artmenko's proposed deal to end conflict over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Sater later said he thought Cohen would hand the peace deal proposal to National Security Advisor Flynn himself. Cohen said he never intended to do so. Read more 

George Papadopoulos 

Sergei Millian, a key source for the "dossier" compiled by a former British spy, told certain individuals during the campaign that he was in touch with Papadopoulos, a campaign adviser. Papadopoulos met with foreign leaders and gave an interview criticizing U.S. sanctions on Russia.

RUSSIAN TIES

Millian

TIMELINE

March 21, 2016 | In a meeting with The Washington Post's editorial board, Trump reveals that George Papadopoulos is one of his foreign policy advisers. Trump describes Papadopoulos as "an energy and oil consultant," and says he's "an excellent guy." Read more 

Erik Prince 

Prince, a Trump business associate, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the founder of notorious private security firm Blackwater, presented himself as an unofficial envoy of Trump in a meeting with a representative of Vladimir Putin in the Seychelles days before Trump's inauguration, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The meeting was brokered by the United Arab Emirates who hoped to loosen Russian ties to Iran by strengthening ties between Russia and the United States.

TIMELINE

January 2017 | About Jan. 11, Prince presented himself as an unofficial envoy of Trump in a meeting with an anonymous representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the island of Seychelles, according to U.S., European and Arab officials as reported by The Post. The meeting was arranged by the United Arab Emirates and officials said a discussion topic was the prospect of persuading Moscow to loosen ties with Iran. Read more 

Ivanka Trump 

President Trump's older daughter has a security clearance, an unpaid and unspecified role in her father's administration and an office in the West Wing. She has already met with foreign heads of state, including Justin Trudeau of Canada and Angela Merkel of Germany.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sater


Russian business

TIMELINE

2006 | Felix Sater, a Russian American who worked with Donald Trump on several projects and proposals, says Trump asked him to escort Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. around Moscow. Read more 

Jan. 20, 2017 | Dasha Zhukova, wife of oligarch and Putin friend Roman Abramovich, attends the inauguration as a guest of Ivanka Trump. Read more 

Tevfik Arif 

Arif is chairman of the New York real estate company Bayrock Group, which was exploring the possibility of a Trump Tower in Moscow. The deal fell apart.

RUSSIAN TIES

Sater

TIMELINE

2005 | Trump signs one-year deal with Bayrock to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow. The deal eventually falls apart. Read more 

2008 | Trump SoHo New York is completed, a construction project on which Bayrock was a leading partner.

  

Russian ties

Vladimir Putin 

Russian president who U.S. intelligence agencies believe personally ordered the interference into the 2016 election, including penetrating the Democratic National Committee's computer systems and distributing fake news stories. Putin has consistently denied the allegations, calling the attacks a "political witch hunt."

TIES TO TEAM TRUMP

Trump


Flynn


Tillerson



Russian business interests 

Historically, oligarchs have used relationships with foreign business leaders for political gain. Many of the Russian business people with whom Team Trump has various types of relationships are listed separately in this article.

TIES TO TEAM TRUMP

Trump


Manafort


Flynn


Page


Kushner


Trump Jr.


Tillerson


Ross

Caputo

I. Trump

Sergey Kislyak 

Russian ambassador to the United States since 2008, a career diplomat not considered especially close to Putin.

TIES TO TEAM TRUMP

Trump


Flynn


Page


Sessions


Kushner


Gordon

Igor Sechin 

Executive chairman of the Russian state oil giant Rosneft, former deputy prime minister in Putin's cabinet.

 

TIES TO TEAM TRUMP

Page


Tillerson


Russian hackers 

The GRU, Russia’s military intelligence organization, is thought to have begun cyber operations aimed at influencing the U.S. presidential election by March 2016, according to the U.S. intelligence community. The GRU hacked the Democratic National Committee and also the personal email accounts of Democratic Party officials and political figures. By May, 2016, the GRU had stolen large volumes of data from the DNC. The GRU relayed that material to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, the intelligence community concluded. Guccifer 2.0. is an online persona linked to the GRU and used perhaps by more than one individual to publicize hacked materials. Analysts are skeptical Guccifer 2.0 conducted the actual hacking, but agree with officials that the name was used as a front to disclose materials online.

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