Sunday, July 24, 2016

Putin and Trump, Sitting In The Tree. K-i-s-s-i-n-g?

That's from a children's song.  It's a very clever headline, even if I say so myself, for a post which is about the possible debt Donald Trump owes Vladimir Putin.

Josh Marshall writes about evidence which just might suggest that Trump gets a lot of his funding from Russia in general and a few Russian oligarchs close to Putin in particular.  You should read Josh's post to judge for yourself, but here's where I get concerned:

That Trump owes a lot of money to Russian interests could be the reason why he has not released information on his taxes:

After his bankruptcy and business failures roughly a decade ago Trump has had an increasingly difficult time finding sources of capital for new investments. As I noted above, Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks with the exception of Deutschebank, which is of course a foreign bank with a major US presence. He has steadied and rebuilt his financial empire with a heavy reliance on capital from Russia. At a minimum the Trump organization is receiving lots of investment capital from people close to Vladimir Putin.
Trump's tax returns would likely clarify the depth of his connections to and dependence on Russian capital aligned with Putin. And in case you're keeping score at home: no, that's not reassuring.

It's a possible explanation for Trump's refusal to disclose his tax returns, and it could also explain why Trump hemmed and hawed about NATO coming to the aid of the Baltic states should Putin decide to re-annex them to Russia.

Maybe none of this is correct?  The real problem is, naturally, that the other Republican presidential candidates failed to start their smear machines against Trump early enough in the process, what with vastly over-estimating the smarts of American right-tilting voters.

Thus, it's only now in the general election stage that more facts and speculation surfaces about Trump, including the question whether he might, in fact, be kissing in a tree with the other wannabe rightist dictator of the somewhat modern world.

As Charlie Pearce writes:

This should be the only story about the Trump campaign until he comes clean. It should be the only question anybody asks him. Frankly, even beyond the threat to this election, it's a measure of the pure arrogance of He, Trump. And if Trump thinks his ability to game the American real-estate market, and his success at swindling the rubes who signed up for Trump University, makes him ready to deal with a guy who managed to survive a career at the top-level of the KGB only to make himself the presiding autocrat of the world's leading kleptocracy, I'd like to be there when he finds out how wrong he is.

Bolds are mine.

I'm not going to sleep well...