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Trump Is The Only American President Who Has Ever Had A Serious "Russia Problem"

It's More Serious Than Any Of The Crimes He's Been Charged With



Over the weekend, Nikki Haley played a little rough with Señor Trumpanzee. She referred to Alexei Navalny as “a hero”— debatable— and insisted that Trump needs to respond to accusations that Putin had him killed. “Does he think Putin was right to kill him? And does he think Navalny was a hero?”


First off, whether Navalny was a hero is a question, since at one point he was clearly part of a racist, xenophobic, neo-fascist movement in Russia— something downplayed in his last years… and glossed over by American politicians and media figures. Still, as Foreign Policy noted a couple of years ago, being a dissident doesn’t mean being a saint. And in Navalny’s case, Kremlin propagandists certainly had a hand in painting an unpalatable picture of him. That’s not something Nikki Haley is likely to delve into while grappling for traction within the Republican Party, which— let’s face it— has been all but consumed by the invasive tendrils of the MAGA movement (if not Russia), reminiscent of the insidious infiltration depicted in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.



And if Haley isn’t going to delve into it, but assured that the billionaires who owned the old GOP and are still trying to come to terms with what their place is inside the MAGA GOP, isn’t either. They are expected to fall in line— and now that the primaries are all but over— they certainly seem to be doing just that. The right-wing billionaires are going to pay for Trump’s campaign— and that includes funding an RNC that is going to pay Trump’s legal bills. His “efforts to court and cajole rightwing billionaires into financing his presidential campaign are bearing fruit as even sceptical conservative mega-donors face up to the prospect he will again be the Republican candidate. Trump,” wrote Chris McGreal, “is winning back some donors who supported him four years ago but then gave their money to [his] primary rivals this year, fearing he will again lose to Joe Biden in November or the chaos that will ensue if he wins.”


Trump successfully wooed the biggest donor to DeSantis’s failed presidential campaign during a visit to Las Vegas last month, the billionaire developer Robert Bigelow. After meeting Trump and then joining his motorcade through Las Vegas to a political rally, Bigelow pledged $20 million to [his] campaign— the same amount he gave to DeSantis— along with another $1 million toward the mounting costs of his myriad legal problems.
Trump also won commitments from other well-heeled donors on the Las Vegas trip while the billionaire investor John Paulson held a dinner for the former president and major Republican party contributors earlier this month, according to Politico.
Two years ago, some mega-donors were backing away from Trump after the Republicans fell short of expectations in the midterm congressional elections and candidates backed by the former president did badly. The hedge fund magnate Kenneth Griffin publicly threw his support behind DeSantis, calling Trump a “three-time loser.”
In October, Trump’s representatives were pointedly excluded from a meeting of the American Opportunity Alliance, a conservative donor network founded by Griffin and another Wall Street billionaire, Paul Singer, while aides from rival Republican primary campaigns were present. In 2016, Singer was the biggest donor to a super political action committee focused on stopping Trump winning the Republican nomination.
But, in a sign that at least some donors have shifted their focus to November, Trump’s aides were invited to an AOA meeting in Florida last month. The New York Times reported that a majority of those donors still backed Haley, including Griffin after he lost confidence in DeSantis’s inept campaign. But the presence of [Trump’s] representatives was taken as evidence that they were going to have to support him if they wanted to lever Biden out of the presidency.
Donor concerns about the chaos Trump brings will not have been allayed by recent comments that appeared to abandon some members of Nato to the Russians and the writer E Jean Carroll’s $88 million award for defamation by the former president. Neither will donors have been encouraged by Trump’s threat on his social media platform, Truth Social, to blacklist those who give money to Haley’s campaign.
But, for some donors at least, whatever dangers Trump poses to democracy are subordinate to their opposition to taxes funding welfare, laws to protect the environment, worker rights and anti-monopoly laws.
The Wall Street financier Omeed Malik, who previously backed DeSantis and the independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr, told told NBC news on Wednesday that he plans to raise millions of dollars for Trump because of what he regarded as government overreach during the Covid pandemic that prompted him to move to Florida.
“It’s starting to become prime time here between Biden and Trump, and this is when I can be much more effective,” he said.
Brendan Glavin, deputy research director of the transparency group Open Secrets, which tracks the influence of money on politics, said that while Trump is highly effective at raising money online from grassroots supporters to keep campaign offices and other parts of the election machine running, as well as pay his mounting legal bills, he is in need of the billionaire donors to cover a huge surge in spending on advertising blitzes as the general election nears.
“When you’re dealing with these mega-donors, they can come in and drop tens of millions of dollars. Then that money can be allocated very quickly to wherever they need to spend it, where they want to spend on ads,” he said.
“In 2020, Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave $90 million to the Super Pac Preserve America to support Trump. They didn’t do that until the last three months of the election but it paid for ads supporting Trump at the last minute when it had an impact.”
Glavin said that the news that a Biden-supporting group was planning to spend $250 million in what the New York Times described as “the largest single purchase of political advertising by a Super Pac in the nation’s history” will have added to “pressure on Trump to ramp up his mega-donors.”
The Adelsons were Trump’s single largest donor at the last election and the former president has held regular meetings with Miriam Adelson to ensure that continued support since her casino magnate husband, Sheldon, died three three years ago. It’s highly likely that Miriam, who is estimated to be worth more than $30 billion, will support Trump again principally because of his position on Israel.
Miriam, who is Israel’s richest woman, has praised Trump for his policies as president such as recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv as well as cancelling the Iran nuclear deal which had been strongly opposed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2018, Trump awarded Miriam Adelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Trump will also be looking to the billionaire industrialists Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein. The couple have been among the most enthusiastic financial backers of political groups and elected officials pushing conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. They were the largest [neo-fascist] donors in the 2022 midterm elections, giving about $90 million according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Once he has formally secured the Republican nomination, Trump is unlikely to want for financial supporters. Forbes found that 133 billionaires or their supporters donated to his 2020 campaign.
But some mega-donors appear to have turned away from the former president for good.
The chief executive of Blackstone, Stephen Schwarzman, who was one of Wall Street’s biggest donors to Trump’s previous campaigns, declared he would not back him again, saying that the Republican party needed a new generation of leaders.
The tech billionaire Peter Thiel gave $1.25 million to support Trump in 2016. But the co-founder of PayPal and the data analytics firm Palantir told The Atlantic in November that he turned down an appeal from the former president for $10 million because Trump’s first term was so chaotic.
“It was crazier than I thought. It was more dangerous than I thought. They couldn’t get the most basic pieces of the government to work,” he said.
Thiel said that Trump told him “he was very sad, very sad” at the refusal to contribute, and that he later heard the former president had called him a “fucking scumbag.”

Recently Trump endorsed Abe Hamadeh for the crowded open AZ-08 seat, which is also being contested by Thiel’s ex-lover, Blake Masters, who Trump sold his support to in the 2022 unsuccessful Senate race.


Back to Trump and Russia for a moment, yesterday, the editors of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Trump’s ties to Putin remain a national security threat. Trump imagines that Putin, a wanted war criminal and a former KGB agent, is his friend and “sided with Putin after a U.S. intelligence community assessment found Russia meddled in the 2016 election. More troubling, in 2017 Trump shared highly classified intelligence with the Russian ambassador. These were not innocent missteps. Rather, they are part of Trump’s decades-long support for Russia. As he mounts another presidential bid, voters must understand that Trump remains a national security risk.”


There are dozens of reasons why Trump is unfit to be president, but his subservience to Putin is near the top of the list. Russia remains one of America’s fiercest foes. Yet, before, during, and after his one term as president, Trump bowed down to what Ronald Reagan called the “evil empire.”
Trump’s unyielding support for Russia was evident again last week as Washington lawmakers haggled over a $95.3 billion aid package to largely help Ukraine defend itself from the Kremlin’s invasion that began two years ago.
Supporting an ally during an unprovoked, bloody invasion should be a no-brainer, but Trump pressured House Speaker Mike Johnson to flip-flop on border security and aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The shameful display by MAGA devotees has weakened America’s standing with allies and enemies and is a preview of the reckless chaos to come if Trump is reelected.
A free and independent Ukraine is in America’s national security and economic interests. Stopping Russia’s naked aggression is necessary to maintain peace and stability here and abroad.
The cost of not supporting Ukraine will be greater in the long run and may embolden other aggressors like China and Iran. Trump’s efforts to block the aid package may result in Ukraine losing the war, setting off a cascade of events that will likely upend the world order.
Trump does not care. He has long been enthralled with Putin. Trump’s fawning over Russia has a long and disturbing arc that should focus voters on Election Day.
A former KGB agent said Trump has been Russian asset since the 1980s. Politico reported that the KGB may have opened a file on Trump as early as 1977, after he married a model from Czechoslovakia. In investigative journalist Craig Unger’s book, American Kompromat, the former spy said Trump’s “low intellect” and “hyperinflated vanity” made it easy to manipulate him with “simple flattery.”
In 1987, the Russian ambassador met with Trump in New York and invited him to Moscow  to discuss a hotel deal. Trump bragged in his book, The Art of the Deal, about staying in the Lenin suite of the Hotel National, which likely was bugged.
The hotel deal never happened, but Trump returned home and began parroting Russian talking points. He took out full-page ads in three major newspapers that said the United States should not pay to defend countries that can protect themselves.


In the 1990s, as Trump’s business empire teetered on the edge of financial collapse, U.S. banks stopped lending to him. Trump turned to foreign banks and wealthy Russian backers. By 2008, Donald Trump Jr. told attendees at a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.”
In 2014, Trump’s son, Eric, a reporter who inquired about financing for a golf course development: “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
As president, Trump echoed the message from his old newspaper ads by pressuring NATO allies to spend more on defense. His recent criticism of long-standing international allies offered a shocking window into how a second Trump term could unfold and is consistent with his decades of kowtowing to Russia.
In 2007, Trump said Putin was “doing a great job.” In 2013, Trump said Putin “outsmarted” America and tweeted a pathetic note wondering, “[W]ill he become my new best friend?” In 2015, Trump defended Putin’s alleged murders of journalists. 
Putin returned the favor by authorizing a sweeping Russian campaign to help elect Trump in 2016. During the campaign, Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. Even sleazy Steve Bannon, a twice-indicted and pardoned former Trump strategist, called the meeting, “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
A Senate intelligence report that examined Russia’s election interference efforts found Manafort was “a grave counterintelligence threat” who was deeply compromised by years of business dealings with oligarchs who lent him millions of dollars. Manafort was later convicted of bak and tax fraud over his business dealings in Ukraine but was pardoned by Trump.
After getting elected, Trump appointed several officials to his administration with ties to Russia, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned after one month due to his vulnerability to blackmail over previous dealings with the Kremlin. Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia but was also pardoned by Trump.
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction following the investigation into his role in Russia’s election interference. Trump later prdoned Stone.
The Trump circle has many more ties to Russia. That may explain why Trump doubled down on his comments about letting Russia do whatever it wants— even though he faced significant backlash.
This much is clear when it comes to Trump and Russia: A vote for Trump is a vote for a useful idiot.


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4 comentários


Convidado:
19 de fev.

If trump's "russia problem" is worse than the crimes he's been "charged with", it's only because this shithole and the shit party who should be enforcing the constitution has refused to do so since 1968. trump should be charged with treason, insurrection, the murders committed thereby, conspiracy to commit insurrection AND be DQ'd from running for and being elected to public office as per the 14th amendment to the constitution that your fucking pussy democraps refuse to enforce.


trump's russia problem first came to light in 2016. the pussy doj concluded that he did collude with putin but that a sitting president was above the law. when he was no longer a sitting president, your pussy democrap doj took…

Curtir

The lack of character among so many of those billionaires is astounding, except ha ha ha - that’s how they became billionaires. Disgusting.

Curtir

The oxymoronic media terms "mega donors" and "donor class" are major pet peeves of mine. They remind me of the old George Carlin routine about "jumbo shrimp", "partially blocked punts", and, his favorite, "military intelligence."


A billionaire political "donor" is a contradiction in terms. A donor is someone who contributes money to a cause or an organization without expecting any tangible benefit in return. I have, for example, contributed to various Bernie Sanders campaigns dating back to his initial (losing) House run in 1988. I can't ever recall getting any tangible benefits for the various political contributions I have made to various candidates dating back over 40 years.


Billionaires, as a matter of routine, expect (and receive) benefits for contributions…


Curtir
Convidado:
19 de fev.
Respondendo a

won't stop you from voting again for a party paid for by those investors though, will it?

Curtir
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