Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russia are behind the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The foundation of Trump's financial empire is built on Russian money.
The stolen emails were just the beginning. Trump's financial dependence on Russia is impacting his foreign policy ideas, leaning toward Russia and against the interests of the United States.
Donald Trump is running for president of the United States to create a world financial empire with Russia as its key strategic partner.
"Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Trump's son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
After going bankrupt, U.S. banks refused to lend Trump money and he turned to Russia and became financially dependent.
After his bankruptcy and business failures roughly a decade ago Trump has had an
increasingly difficult time finding sources of capital for new investments...Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks with the exception of Deutschebank, which is of course a foreign bank with a major US presence. He has steadied and rebuilt his financial empire with a heavy reliance on capital from Russia. At a minimum the Trump organization is receiving lots of investment capital from people close to Vladimir Putin...
Post-bankruptcy Trump has been highly reliant on money from Russia, most of which has over the years become increasingly concentrated among oligarchs and sub-garchs close to Vladimir Putin.
Russia's interest in our presidential election and Donald Trump has been well documented.
The Washington Post wrote on June 17, "Russia has signaled a deep interest in the U.S. election and in Trump, in particular. The Russian ambassador to the United States, breaking from a tradition in which diplomats steer clear of domestic politics, attended Trump's April foreign policy speech."
Trump and Putin have had a long time friendship and public admiration for each other. Trump is utterly financially dependent on Russia which has grown distortional since Trump went bankrupt multiple times. When U.S. banks would no longer loan him money because of his business malfeasance, he successfully turned to Russia, and now the country owns the Trump empire.
Donald Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and his leadership. "In terms of leadership, [Putin]'s getting an A," Trump said in a past interview. In December 2015, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, he said, "I've always felt fine about Putin. He's a strong leader, he's a powerful leader. ... He's actually got popularity within his country."
Putin praised Trump: "He is a bright and talented person without any doubt," adding that Trump is "an outstanding and talented personality."
Trump's pro-Russian ideas are already impacting his campaign. Three significant concessions Trump has made to Russia before his campaign had already begun:
1. Defending European and NATO interests are being questioned by Trump in favor of Russian interests.
In a New York Times article titled 'Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack,' David Sanger and Maggie Haberman reported:
Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations have "fulfilled their obligations to us." he added, "the answer is yes."
Mr. Trump's statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States' defense of its major allies. It was consistent, however, with his previous threat to withdraw American forces from Europe and Asia if those allies fail to pay more for American protection.
Trump in another interview with Bloomberg Politics' Mark Halperin and John Heilemann went further on distancing the United States from NATO. "And I think NATO -- you have to really examine NATO. And it doesn't really help us, it's helping other countries. And I don't think those other countries appreciate what we're doing."
2. Republican National Committee changes position on arming Ukraine against Russia at Trump campaign request
The LA Times, in a story titled "In a shift, Republican platform doesn't call for arming Ukraine against Russia, spurring outrage"
Originally, the GOP platform was to call for providing Ukraine with weapons in addition to the substantial non-lethal aid the U.S. already provides, according to congressional reports. After Trump surrogates reportedly intervened, the final passage supports "providing appropriate assistance" to Ukraine, but doesn't mention providing arms to the government in Kiev.
Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, said the change was "most unusual."
3. Trump considers recognizing Russia's right to keep Crimea, the part of Ukraine seized by Russia in 2014, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Jul 31, 2016. The United States and other European nations regarded it an aggressive action and imposed sanctions on Russia. The Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when it was moved from the Soviet Union to Ukraine.
"You know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also," Trump said.
4. Trump encourages Russian stealing emails of the Democratic National Committee
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton's deleted emails. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
Now the DNC computer hack makes sense. The genesis of the DNC computer hack and email release turns out to be a long, extensive, financial and political relationship Donald Trump has with Russia and President Putin.
We know that the DNC was not hacked to find credit card numbers or financial data but only emails of political operatives. We also know the FBI is looking at two Russian government agencies for hacking the DNC.
Why would the Russian government want emails of political staffers of only one political party? It only makes sense if they have a candidate -- Donald Trump.
It was the timing that unraveled the scheme. Only Donald Trump would benefit from when the emails were released. Right before the Democratic Convention.
Trump and Putin, together, seemed to be working to create maximum chaos at the Democratic Convention.
The FBI is investigating the hack. The DNC did its own investigation and it led them to two Russian government agencies.
In the end, it seems a foreign state actor wants to help the Trump campaign win the American presidential election and we cannot allow that to happen.
Michael Duga has served in political and strategic roles beginning in the Clinton Administration. This includes serving as Chief of Staff to Former Senator Max Cleland and as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Department of Defense. Mr. Duga is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Say No To Trump political action committee,www.SayNoToTrumpPAC.com.