It has really nice appliances

One of the things Rachel Maddow talked about in the segment leading up to the 1040 reveal was the fact that Trump sold a house to a Russian oligarch for way more than it was worth, so what’s that about.

So today I googled for more, and got a Washington Post piece from five days ago.

The front-page centerpiece of Friday’s Palm Beach Post, billed as an “exclusive,” begins with a provocative question: “Why did a Russian oligarch pay now-President Donald Trump $95 million for his Palm Beach mansion?”

The piece offers no clear answer and, despite being a captivating read filled with several new details, it revisits a curious real estate transaction that has previously been probed by the New York Times, CNN and Politico, among others.

$95 million is a LOT of money for one house, even if it is a mansion.

Trump paid $41.35 million for the seaside estate in 2004 and sold it in 2008 for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a fertilizer magnate and majority owner of the AS Monaco soccer team.

There was a real estate bubble between 2004 and 2008…but it was deflating in 2008, and it was never so expanded that it could explain a profit of $43 $53 million in four years unless the seller added a few extra houses. $95 million was a record price and before that, the Post says, Trump was struggling to sell it at all.

(Maison de L’Amitie, as the estate is known, languished on the market for two years before fetching what was, at the time, believed to be the highest price ever for a home in the United States.) Rybolovlev, who has never lived in the 62,000-square-foot house, has claimed at various times that it is a corporate investment, an asset for his family trust or perhaps a 6.2-acre playground for his equestrian-loving daughter.

None of that is an explanation for paying a vastly inflated price.

Since Rybolovlev can’t get his story straight, and he keeps bumping into Trump at airports, is it possible that the answer to the Palm Beach Post’s question about the oligarch’s motive is that he was trying to curry favor with the future president?

If so, Rybolovlev had tremendous political foresight. An alternative explanation is that he was just moving money in the midst of a divorce from his wife, Elena, who in a 2009 lawsuit accused him of “secreting and transferring assets in order to avoid his obligations,” according to the Palm Beach Post.

That still doesn’t make any sense. If you overpay for a house in order to withhold the money from someone else, the money is still lost to you, because you overpaid. Why not buy art works, or multiple houses, or startups, or any number of things that wouldn’t be just donating $43 $53 million to Donnie from Queens?

Unless donating $43 $53 million to Donnie from Queens is exactly what you intended to do.

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