MSNBC weekend host Alex Witt has had her hands full today, with as much scandal as has gone down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue just in the last week. If you’d asked me last Saturday whether I would see the First Lady unveil a plagiarized title for a program against bullying, then watch a White House aide bully a dying man, then stare in amazement as the White House refused to apologize for mocking a cancer patient, well… Okay, maybe I might have expected it.
But you could tell that Alex was still reeling a little from her call-in interview with Axios‘ Jonathan Swan about all of that when she welcomed another guest, author Seth Hettena, whose new book, Trump/Russia: A Definitive History has been more than a little instructive on the background between the US president and the country he can’t seem to say a negative word about.
Hettena told his host that the history between Trump and his ties to Russia — or at least Russian money — goes back a lot longer than just the Trump Tower meeting where Don Jr. and Jared Kushner tried to buy dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for lifting sanctions that prevent Russian oligarchs from making millions at the expense of America. In fact, it goes back even further than the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that Trump held in Moscow, on the trip when he insisted he hadn’t stayed overnight in the country, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
The celebrated author detailed the very beginning of Trump’s connection to illegal Russian money, based on the activities of a group of Russian mobsters who ran a gas tax scam in New York City in the 1980’s. Trump tracked them down, and, knowing that they had a lot of disposable income that they couldn’t necessarily deposit into a bank account, got them to invest in a real estate deal with him.
The more we find out, the less surprising it all becomes. In the end, the likeliest outcome is that we all find out Trump has been laundering money for the Russian mafia this entire time.
Featured image via New Century Times Gallery