Donald Trump lies to the American public on a regular basis. In the past, his supporters have believed him, but perhaps this will begin to change as journalists continue to investigate his false claims and call him out.
In response to longstanding allegations that he enjoys a cozy relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump has always maintained that he has never had extensive business dealings in Russia and that he does not know the soviet leader Vladimir Putin personally. Now, as investigative journalists focus increasingly on Trump after his victory in the election, they are discovering more and more evidence that he has not been open and honest about these issues.
As early as 1987, Trump visited Russia with his former wife Ivana to scout out locations for a potential hotel. In 1996, he was in negotiations with a soviet team about putting Trump’s name on two luxury apartment building in Russia; these were never built. That same year, Trump gushed to the Moscow Times about what a lovely city Moscow was and how he saw tremendous potential for investment.
In 2005 and 2006, Trump worked with Russian immigrant Felix Sater on a scheme for Trump branding some residential properties in Moscow. The concept was the same as many of Trump’s branding deals: Trump would have his name associated with the apartments while other people did the actual work of developing and running them. After the plan failed to go through, Trump discussed similar property deals with Russian business interests.
Starting in the 1980s, Trump has discussed with a number of different soviet groups the possibility of building some kind of tower in Moscow similar to Trump Tower in New York. These discussions have been documented in many places; they aren’t secret. Furthermore, in 2013, he sold the rights to produce a Miss Universe pageant in Russia to a team of Russian business men and traveled to Russia to seal the deal.
In short, Trump has long had close ties with Russia. Indeed, he’s even boasted in Tweets about how well he feels he knows and understands the Russian people. Today, however, he says that he isn’t associated with the country and its despotic ruler despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary.