The Trump – FBI Russia spat is only one indicator of the difficulty that Donald Trump has in understanding the limitations and requirements of the United States presidency. Only days ago, Trump launched into a Twitter tirade against the FBI after they refused to deny that he – or anyone in the administration – had suspicious ties to Russia. But just what are these rumored ties that Trump seems so eager for the FBI to shoot down.
Donald Trump Russian Loans
As reported by the Washington Post, Trump seems to owe a considerable sum of money – perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars – to Russian financiers and banks who were willing to supply him with the financing U.S. banks would no longer provide. Donald Trump’s tendency to declare bankruptcy with such alarming frequency made him seem – not surprisingly – like a bad credit risk.
When U.S. banks and finance companies put a stranglehold on Trump’s credit, he apparently turned to a much murkier financing approach that involved Russian oligarchs and secret deals. It’s suspected by many that one of the principal reasons that Donald Trump doesn’t want to release his tax returns publicly is that they might reveal evidence of just how much money he owes to Russia.
Paul Manafort and the Ukrainian Revolution
Paul Manafort was – for much of last year – Donald Trump’s campaign manager. However, Manafort is also widely known to have close connections with Russia, as well as the former Russian-leaning dictator of the Ukraine. As reported by US News, Manafort apparently received over $12 million in under the table payments for his services to this Ukrainian leader and – by extension – Russia.
When this all came out last year, the Trump campaign made a show of dismissing Manafort from the campaign. However, Manafort popped up again almost immediately following Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. There’s no doubt that he still remains a close advisor to Donald Trump.
Exxon Oilman Rex Tillerson
Another astonishing connection between the Trump administration and Russia can be seen in the appointment of Rex Tillerson as United States Secretary of State. While Tillerson has virtually no diplomatic experience that anyone can discover, he has spent a great deal of time in Russia representing the interests of Exxon. After all, he was the CEO of the company.
In fact, Rex Tillerson is so chummy with President Vladimir Putin that he actually received a medal from the Russian dictator. But somehow, this unusually close relationship with the leader of a country that currently has thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at the United States failed to convince the Republicans in the Senate that he shouldn’t be made Secretary of State. The Trump – FBI Russia spat hadn’t even begun at this point.
The Michael Flynn Fiasco
One of the most remarkable and significant of the connections between the Trump administration and Russia can be seen in the person of General Michael Flynn. Flynn was for a brief period head of the National Security Council, but he was quickly forced out of the job when it was discovered by intelligence agencies that his discussions with Russia prior to the inauguration may have violated the Logan Act.
Flynn had apparently offered guarantees to the Russians regarding the removal of Obama administration sanctions against them, despite the fact that Obama was still president at the time and carrying out negotiations with a foreign power in this way was against the law.
Flynn’s removal from his office may have been one of the seeds that created the souring of the Trump – FBI relationship. But regardless of the cause, Trump now seems to list the FBI among his many enemies.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]