Donald Trump has had ties with the Russian mafia for close to four decades, an investigative reporter claims.
As Trump continues to deny any collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, a new book has uncovered decades worth of contacts between Trump and organized crime syndicates in Russia. Author and investigative journalist Craig Unger claimed that Trump laundered billions of dollars for Russian crime figures, according to Salon’s review of the book, House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia.
As Unger noted, Trump has not taken many efforts to hide his ties to Russian organized crime.
“Donald Trump has had contacts with the Russian mafia for 35 years. His properties have laundered money for them. The Russian mafia are connected to Russian intelligence,” Unger said. “They’re living and have been working in Trump’s building. Trump has even partnered with them. There are so many ways in which he’s compromised. As you say, I think it’s all on the public record. The Republicans are also implicated.”
Unger noted that Russian intelligence officials have long been cultivating Donald Trump to run for president, mirroring a claim in the notorious Steele Dossier that claimed Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia.,Unger noted that there are signs of these connections dating back more than 30 years. For example, Trump took out full-page newspaper ads attacking NATO directly following a visit to Russia in 1987.
As Donald Trump continues to deny any collusion with Russia during the campaign, he has now shifted to level those same charges against his opponent. At a campaign rally on Wednesday night, Trump claimed that it was actually Hillary Clinton who worked with the Russians in an attempt to swing the election, NBC News noted.
“There was collusion between Hillary, the Democrats, and Russia,” Trump said as the crowd chanted “lock her up” toward Clinton. “There was a lot of collusion with them and Russia and lots of other people.”
As the report noted, there is no evidence to support Trump’s claim that Clinton colluded with Russia. Trump had previously made similar claims on Twitter, leading to bipartisan criticism.
WATCH: At a rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump alleged, without evidence, that the Clinton campaign had ties to Russia. https://t.co/0N1GtzT0Qn
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 11, 2018
Donald Trump has not said if he will sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller’s team for the Russia investigation, which has already snagged a number of top campaign officials including campaign manager Paul Manafort and top adviser turned National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.