Just when you thought every sordid, racist detail about President Donald Trump’s past had made its way into the public sphere, new stunning allegations emerge that somehow seem to outdo everything that came before.
Writer David Corn of Mother Jones fame has teamed up with heavyweight investigative journalist Michael Isikoff and published Russian Roulette,The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.
The forthcoming book promises to take readers deeper into the president’s relationship with Russian oligarchs and their patron saint, President Vladimir Putin, than anyone has yet been.
The first of two excerpts has been released, and they prove definitively that there is still much more to this story than even the most intrepid journalists and conspiracy theorists have yet reported.
One particular tale traverses that well trodden intersection where Trump’s affinity for all things Russian crossed paths with his unhealthy infatuation with the world of beauty pageants, the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant held in Moscow.
Two former staffers for the event told Corn and Isikoff that Trump would often ‘veto’ certain contestants if he thought there were too many darker skinned or ‘ethnic looking’ women among the finalists:
Frequently, Trump would toss out finalists and replace them with others he preferred. “If there were too many of women of color, he would make changes,” a Miss Universe staffer later noted. Another Miss Universe staffer recalled, “He often thought a woman was too ethnic or too dark-skinned. He had a particular type of woman he thought was a winner. Others were too ethnic. He liked a type. There was Olivia Culpo, Dayanara Torres [the 1993 winner], and, no surprise, East European women.”
It wasn’t just skin color that could hurt a contestant’s chances. Trump was famous for flirting with many of the women competing in his pageants, and often asked some of them out. If someone resisted his advances, they could find themselves vetoed out of the later rounds of the contest.
Corn and Isikoff also describe how the budding “bromance” between Trump and Putin was consummated following the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant. Trump had been assured by the Russian oligarchs he had partnered with that Putin wanted to attend and tried to attend the lavish event, but at the very last minute word reached the theater that the Russian president had cancelled.
Trump was as disappointed as a teenaged girl stood up for a first date. But Putin genuinely felt bad, according to reports, and wanted to make amends. Soon after Trump returned home, he got a surprise visit from the daughter of one of his Russian oligarch partners:
“Aras 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.”
You can read the entire first excerpt of Isikoff and Corn’s forthcoming Russian Roulette here.