On the last day of October, nearly a week away from the 2016 elections to succeed President Barack Obama, a couple of websites dedicated to political news and opinion published an alarming report that should strike fear in the heart of Donald Trump’s unstable campaign.
The report suggests that the New York billionaire and controversial candidate has received payments from Russia. As a reference, it cites a previous report from a major American news organization; that report included comments from Trump explaining that he does have some real estate holdings in Russia, specifically luxury condominium units, which he sells from time to time.
The problem with the comments made by Trump to a television news network that broadcasts across the United States is that it contradicts earlier Twitter updates that indicate he does not have investments in Russia. There is also the ongoing concern about Trump’s seeming adoration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has shown adversarial policy against the United States.
Moreover, Trump has also hinted that the U.S. should work with Russia to eradicate ISIS in Syria. The candidate has not offered an explanation as to how this may come to fruition since U.S. and Russian interests in Syria are diametrically opposed, but Trump would also like to lift American sanctions against Russia at a time when the powerful nation has been voted off the United Nations Security Council.
Notwithstanding all the above, there are no credible reports that truly indicate that Trump has received payments or concessions from the Russian government. He may have sold condos to Russian citizens who took advantage of the American real estate downturn, particularly in certain housing markets such as Miami, but nothing indicates that he has received money from the Kremlin.
If anything, when Trump mentions that he would like to lift some sanctions on Russia, he is being self-serving. There are wealthy Russians who are concerned with the downward economic direction that their country has taken over the last few years; these are potential buyers who may be interested in moving their money out of Russian banks and into Trump’s real estate. Unfortunately for these prospective buyers, the Russian forced annexation of Crimea and its meddling in the Ukrainian conflict have resulted in economic sanctions that prevent them from parking their cash in the U.S.
This latest report of Trump’s business dealings in Russia, but not with the Russian Kremlin, may come full circle to the issue of his unreleased tax returns. There is major speculation about what these tax returns may reveal; there is a possibility that the American public may see more than just real estate dealings with Russians. Should there be major business connections to China, Iran and other nations that are not aligned with U.S. interests, voters may think twice about casting a Trump ballot.