Published On: Fri, May 12th, 2017

Trump Lawyer Claims No Business Ties to Russia, Twitter Explodes with Sarcasm

Trump Lawyer Claims No Business Ties to Russia, Twitter Explodes with Sarcasm

Susanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | Host of Hardline Radio Show

Sheri A. Dillon and William F. Nelson, legal representatives for Donald Trump, wrote a letter released by the White House wherein they claim their client’s income from Russian sources stems from a 2013 Miss Universe pageant held in Moscow.

That pageant was funded by Aras Agalarov, a Russian real estate billionaire with connections to Putin. Agalarov arranged a meeting between Trump and Herman Gref, Putin’s former minister of the economy and current CEO of Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution.

The pageant made up a “substantial portion” of Trump’s $12.2 income from foreign sources from 2013. The letter also refers to a home in Palm Beach that Trump sold to a Russian oligarch in 2008 for $95 million 12 years ago.

The buyer of the home was Dmitry Rybolovlev , known as the “fertilizer king” and long-time associate of Putin.

The lawyers’ state that Trump earned an “immaterial” amount of money from real estate sales and other products involving Russian buyers that would not be included in his tax returns. However they stressed that “any income of any type from Russian sources” were not included in those “exceptions”.

Without providing corresponding documents, the tax attorneys said this disclosure is based on 10 years’ worth of tax returns. The letter asserts that Trump hold no debt from lenders in Russia and has no equity in Russian entities.

Journalist Paul Blumenthal criticized the letter, saying: “This is not how you construct a credible statement about someone’s finances, let alone a sitting president of the United States. ‘With few exceptions’ is such an obvious out that it can barely even be called a loophole ― it simply and openly invalidates the denial that precedes it.”

Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, explained that the Russians “would not lend directly to Trump or his businesses”; instead they might “fund a Cyprus corporation, which would lend to Trump or his businesses, possibly through other intermediary entities.”

The “few exceptions” may include access to $100 million dollars from Russian banks that Eric Trump reportedly told sports writer James Durban back in 2014. Eric said: “We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

And it may also be the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Sergei Millian, head of a Russian-US business consortium, admitted to ABC News last September that Trump profited from due to his ties to Russian oligarchs.

Then there’s the 2008 real estate conference where Donald Trump Jr told a room full of investors that his family’s business is funded in part of Russians.

Donald Jr said: “In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

In response to the letter, in particular the phrase “with few exceptions”, Twitter users quickly began using #WithFewExeceptions to express their sardonic disdain toward Trump.

Susanne Posel

Susanne Posel

Chief Editor | Investigative Journalist