On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met and hammered out a deal for their two countries to jointly occupy the border region in northern Syria, CNN reported. The Russia-Turkey deal, which did not include the United States, came after Donald Trump pulled American forces out of the region, allowing Turkey to invade Syria and force out the Kurdish people who had made the region their home.
But why would Trump make the decision to concede the region, which also contains hundreds of imprisoned Islamic State fighters, to Russia? In an MSNBC interview on Thursday morning, former Trump friend Donny Deutsch offered speculation regarding Trump’s motives. Trump is indebted to Russia and Putin because despite his claims to be a multi-billionaire, Deutsch claimed, Trump is actually broke.
“This is all about failed casinos,” Deutsch told MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, as quoted by the news site Raw Story. “He is owned by Putin because he’s been laundering money, Russian money, for the last 20, 30 years. He’s owned by them, that’s what this is.”
Deutsch’s reference to “failed casinos” was directed at Trump’s ownership of three Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel and casino complexes in the early 1990s — Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Castle, and Trump Plaza Casino — all of which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Trump has denied that he was ever friends with Deutsch, claiming he “hardly knew him,” according to a HuffPost report.
Scarborough was quick to label Deutsch’s claims “speculation,” and Deutsch cited no evidence that Trump was financially indebted to Putin. But as The Inquisitr has reported, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has studied Trump’s financial standing and authored two books about the onetime real estate magnate, has also expressed skepticism about the true extent of Trump’s wealth.
While stopping short of claiming that Trump is actually broke, Johnston has said that he believes Trump’s net worth has never reached even $1 billion, and certainly not the $10 billion that Trump has publicly claimed.
“There is not now and never has been a shred of verifiable evidence that Trump is or ever was a billionaire,” Johnston said.
A common but also unproven theory attempting to explain the Trump-Putin relationship holds that Putin possesses sexually compromising information on Trump. As The Inquisitr has reported, rumors that a video known as the “pee tape” serves as Putin’s leverage over Trump have circulated since before Trump’s inauguration.
According to the unverified rumors, the video taken by Russian intelligence agents during Trump’s brief stay at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel in November 2013, shows Trump watching as Russian prostitutes perform a “golden showers” show for him, urinating on a hotel bed that had been previously slept in by President Barack Obama.
But Scarborough dismissed those rumors on the Wednesday broadcast.
“A lot of people think that he has compromising pictures or something happened in a hotel in Russia years ago,” the MSNBC host said. “No, it goes back to money. It’s always about money.”