Reuters has a new report that should turn a lot of heads:
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump downplayed his business ties with Russia. And since taking office as president, he has been even more emphatic.
“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”
But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.
The buyers include politically connected businessmen, such as a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities, the founder of a St. Petersburg investment bank and the co-founder of a conglomerate with interests in banking, property and electronics.
The report goes on to name names. Let's spotlight a few:
- Alexander Yuzvik, a senior executive at Spetstroi, a Russian state-owned military contractor.
- Andrey Truskov, a founder and co-owner of Absolute Group LLC, "a holding company involved in wholesale electronics, banking and property development, with projects in Moscow, London and New York." My note: there's a reason why London is sometimes referred to as Londongrad, and Truskov plays a part in that effort.
- Alexey Ustaev, "the founder and president of St. Petersburg-based Viking Bank, one of the first private investment banks established in Russia after the fall of Communism." This is interesting for a key reason -- Putin's job, after the fall of the Soviet Union when communism was giving was to capitalism, was to help decide who got to control state property in St. Petersburg.
There are many more interesting details which can be read here: