Two top investigative journalists just released a new book that’s ripping the cover off of Donald Trump’s Moscow machinations, and they just revealed a greater mystery related to their relationship and the 2013 Miss Universe.
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Yahoo! investigative reporter Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones editor David Corn have combined to write a new book due out next week entitled: Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump and today they released the first of two excerpts.
This is the first extensive mainstream media report about the Trump Tower Moscow project which publicly emerged from the Miss Universe 2013 pageant, and the reporters raise an even greater mystery about the bromance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Yahoo! reports:
A letter of intent to build the new Trump Tower was signed by the Trump Organization and [Russian-Azeri oligarch Aras] Agalarov’s company. Donald Trump Jr. was placed in charge of the project. Trump was finally on his way in Russia.
And shortly after the Miss Universe event, Agalarov’s daughter showed up at the Miss Universe office in New York City bearing a gift for Trump from Putin.
It was a black lacquered box. Inside was a sealed letter from the Russian autocrat. What the letter said has never been revealed.
Russian Roulette raises a controversial new question about that written communication from Putin to Trump right after the latter inked his first ever real deal to build a Moscow tower after 25 years of trying. Was there a payoff or quid pro quo inside the letter from Putin to Trump?
As one might reasonably expect, the book’s reporting confirms that in Russia it is necessary to get Putin’s approval in all manner of private business dealings or face oppressive red tape and bureaucracy.
Federal law prohibits American companies from paying bribes, which is why many businesses avoid deals in high corruption and graft environments.
While it’s unknown what was inside that letter, we do know that Putin’s personal approval would be invaluable to a real estate developer like Donald Trump.
In any country, building and zoning fights can stretch on for years, and even the world’s largest companies can be beaten by motivated individuals.
We know that Trump hasn’t been above collecting those approvals with the office of the presidency, such as this deal during the transition period with Argentina.
What we didn’t know, is that Donald Trump was openly planning his run for president even during the Miss Universe Moscow pageant.
Russian Roulette explains that it was one of the reasons Donald Trump didn’t spend an extra night in Moscow to ensure a meeting with Vladimir Putin because there was a bigger fish to fry in North Carolina in pandering to evangelical Republican primary voters:
One reason Trump’s hoped-for meeting with the Russian president never materialized was his attention to another project. Trump was originally scheduled to spend two nights in Moscow — which would have yielded a wider window for a get-together with Putin. But Trump had decided to attend the celebration of evangelist Billy Graham’s 95th birthday on Nov. 7 at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. In Russia, Trump told Goldstone that it had been necessary for him to show up at the Graham event: “There is something I’m planning down the road, and it’s really important.”
Goldstone knew exactly what Trump was talking about: a run for the White House. Franklin Graham, the evangelist’s son, was an influential figure among religious conservatives. When Trump two years earlier was championing birtherism — the baseless conspiracy theory that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya and was ineligible to be president — Graham joined the birther bandwagon, raising questions about the president’s birth certificate. Appearing at this event and currying favor with Franklin Graham was a mandatory stop for Trump, if he were serious about seeking the Republican presidential nomination. And it paid off: Trump and his wife, Melania, were seated at the VIP table, along with Rupert Murdoch and Sarah Palin. Franklin Graham later said that Trump was among those who “gave their hearts to Christ” that night.
Just last month, President Trump took to Twitter to deflect attention just after Special Counsel Robert Mueller, announced a major indictment of Putin’s St. Petersberg-based Internet Research Agency and the top managers in their “troll farm,” stating that their activities stretched back to 2013, a fact originally exposed by daring Russian journalists.
Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Russian Roulette’s reporting indicates that Trump was definitely deflecting in the above tweet, by citing his campaign announcement date, knowing full well that his desire to succeed President Obama were well known to his Russian business partners all the way back in 2013.
Donald Trump’s hail of lies is melting under the hard glare of scrutiny by the world’s top investigative reporters.