Hiding in plain sight

A new book says Trump may be a Russian asset compromised by billions of laundered dollars in shady real estate deals.

In House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia, veteran journalist and author Craig Unger names 59 Russians as business associates of Trump (who has claimed he has none) and follows the purported financial links between them and the Trump Organization going back decades.

Newsweek asked Unger some questions.

You call this the greatest intelligence operation of our time. What do you mean by that?
It started out as a simple money-laundering operation at Trump Tower in 1984, when a Russian mobster came to Trump Tower with $6 million in cash and bought five condos. This is the template for what begins to unfold. At least 1,300 of Trump condos in the United States have been sold similarly. All cash purchases through anonymous sources. Those numbers reflect only domestic property. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the KGB decided to create multibillion-dollar companies to survive. The use of the term mafia state is not just a metaphor. It really explains how Russia works. The mafia essentially reports to Putin.

But, Newsweek says, the Trumps have always talked about this openly, so how does the government not know about it? Unger says the real estate industry has terrible regulation.

Which of your findings do you think Americans would find most shocking?
There is a Russian asset in the White House. He is an asset. I believe he is an agent, but it’s hard to prove he is knowledgeable. When you look at the 59 Russians, some live in Trump Tower. The Russian mafia is a state actor, and it has direct ties to Russian intelligence, and they have been located in the home of the president of the United States!

And not only is he an asset, he is also a very obedient asset. Helsinki.

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