The world of politics is reeling from the unprecedented suggestion by the nominee of the Republican Party that Russia target the Democratic nominee with espionage. This has led to renewed scrutiny into Donald Trump’s business interests in Russia, of which the New York businessman says he has none. Yet his son, Donald Jr., gave an interview in 2008 that casts doubt on that question.
Donald Jr. told ETurboNews:
[I]n terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There’s indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble.
To be clear, this is not an admission that the Trump business was involved in Russia itself, but just that in their interests overseas have attracted “Russian money.” However, he also spoke very highly of the two countries most vilified by candidate Trump.
“Given what I’ve seen in Russia’s real estate market as of late relative to some of the emerging markets, the country seems to have a lot more natural strength, especially in the high-end sector where people focus on price per square-meter,” he said.
“In Russia, I really prefer Moscow over all cities in the world. Unlike other countries in the world, this country has five major cities where people would at least be happy being close to living in the metro.
“In Russia, if one has made money anywhere in the country, you would want your place in Moscow.”
Donald Jr. also said that his father’s business was equally interested in China.
The elder Trump, along with a number of U.S. businesses, have tried to make inroads with emerging Russian markets.
Julia Ioffe tells the BBC:
The fact that Trump, after so many attempts and with such warm intentions toward the country, was not able to build anything in Russia- when Ritz Carlton and Kempinski and Radisson and Hilton and any number of Western hotel chains were able to – speaks to his abysmal lack of connections to influential Russians.
Josh Marshall, of Talking Points memo, published a detailed run-down of Trump’s trouble doing business with banks inside the United States, Russian investment in Trump’s SoHo developments in New York, and the Trump camp’s insistence to remove opposition to Putin’s war with Ukraine from the platform.
Finally, there is Paul Manafort, who as part of the notorious “torturer’s lobby,” worked as an advocate for a pro-Russian dictator in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
Ultimately, this is a stunning amount of connections to Russia that are worthy of questioning for a man seeking to be the U.S.’s primary representative on the world stage.
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