On Friday, the Russia investigation Special Counsel released detailed indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers charged with hacking Democratic party email servers during the 2016 presidential campaign. On the same day, the man who actually wrote the bestselling book credited to Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal, said that Trump may have been an “asset” of the Russian government for “many years.”
In fact, Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Trump’s 1987 bestseller, posted on his Twitter account that Trump is “America’s enemy.”
Trump made six figures in royalties off The Art of the Deal in 2017, 30 years after it was published, the Inquisitr reported. Despite sharing in Trump’s literary success, Schwartz has become one of Trump’s most persistent critics since the real estate mogul and reality TV personality began his run for the presidency in 2015.
“Trump’s temperament and his habits have hardened with age,” Schwartz wrote for The Guardian in January. “He was always cartoonish, but compared with the man for whom I wrote The Art of the Deal 30 years ago, he is significantly angrier today: more reactive, deceitful, distracted, vindictive, impulsive and, above all, self-absorbed – assuming the last is possible.”
Schwartz’s newest accusation that Trump’s Russia ties go back much farther than the most recent presidential election is based on a New York Magazine article by columnist Jonathan Chait published earlier this week. The article showed “a plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion” between Trump and Russia going back to at least 1987.
Chait’s article details Trump’s first visit to Moscow, which took place in that year, while Russia was still part of the Soviet Union. Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin had met Trump the year before, buttered him up over his real estate exploits, and invited Trump to visit the Soviet capital.
“Trump returned from Moscow fired up with political ambition. He began the first of a long series of presidential flirtations, which included a flashy trip to New Hampshire,” Chait recounted.
“In 1987, Trump began discussing his desire to partner with Russia to use nuclear weapons on third countries, among them Pakistan and France,” wrote journalist Sarah Kendzior, who has extensively documented Trump’s long-standing Russia ties and presidential ambitions. “He also openly revealed the anti-American and xenophobic streak that remains part of his politics to this day, taking out full page ads condemning U.S. policies and calling America a ‘failure’ in a speech that October.”
While Trump did not actually run for president in 1988, he made his ambitions known and by 1999 was finally ready to make a run, declaring his candidacy on the Reform Party ticket, as The Guardian recounted. The party was founded in 1992 by Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who received almost 20 million votes that year, still the most by any “third party” candidate.
Author Seth Hettena, whose book Trump/Russia: A Definitive History, was published in May, traces Trump’s financial relationship to Russia back to 1987. That was the year that Trump attempted to build a casino in Moscow at a run-down horse-racetrack, Hettena reported on his Trump/Russia site.
In The Art of the Deal, Trump himself — via Schwartz — says that Soviet officials attempted to make deals with him to build a hotel in Moscow. Neither the hotel, nor the casino ever happened. Trump’s political career, however, did happen.
Reports from the German magazine Bild reference intelligence files from the former Soviet satellite state of Czechoslovakia, which took an interest in Trump after he married Czech fashion model Ivana Marie Zelníčková in 1977. They say that Trump was “being pressured” to run for president in 1996. But after his abortive 1999 run, his presidential ambitions lay dormant for more than a decade, until he visited Moscow again.
As the Inquisitr reported in February of this year, a top Russian propagandist has said on his own social media account that Russia’s interest in promoting a Trump presidential run began in 2012, which was also the year that Trump applied to trademark what would become his catch phrase, “Make America Great Again.”
Trump had threatened a presidential run against President Barack Obama in 2012, but called it off, The Guardian reported. Trump then visited Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe Beauty pageant. It was also in 2013 that he spent $1 million to “research” the prospects of a presidential run in 2016. After returning from Moscow in 2013, he soon began attaching the hashtag #Trump2016 to messages on his Twitter account.
On June 16, 2015, Trump made it official, announcing his candidacy for president of the United States.