Michael Cohen swore in court that Donald Trump was negotiating with Russia well into the Presidential campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, admitted in court on Thursday that he had engaged in negotiations to build a tower in Moscow for Mr. Trump well into the 2016 presidential campaign, far later than previously known.
Mr. Cohen said he discussed the status of the project with Mr. Trump on more than three occasions and briefed Mr. Trump’s family members about it. He also admitted he agreed to travel to Russia for meetings on the project.
Of course, this shows that Donald Trump repeatedly lied about his business relations with Russia. But that isn’t entirely surprising. Donald Trump is a liar. He has lied constantly about almost everything. What is perhaps even more interesting about this revelation is that it shows that Donald Trump likely did not think he was going to win the Presidential election. He was trying to win, as his hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen MacDougal, and other actions in the campaign, showed. Trump’s ego is very important to him, so giving up is simply not in his DNA. He wanted to win, but he probably didn’t think he would. Polls repeatedly showed he had a slim to none chance of winning, so it wasn’t exactly out of line for Trump to think he would probably lose. A lot of people thought he would probably lose. However, how he acted with the knowledge that he would probably lose speaks to his complete lack of principles.
Because Donald Trump thought he would probably not win the Presidency, he was trying to make money off of his Presidential campaign. He repeatedly spouted pro-Russia foreign policy statements, likely because he wanted to make money off of Russia, and his efforts to cozy up to Russia during the campaign could have been intended to help him with those money making efforts. The Michael Cohen revelation shows that Trump was actively talking to Russia well into the Presidential campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He was likely planning on following through on the project after he lost the election.
There has also been a lot of smoke about a possible deal Trump, or people within Trump’s inner circle, may have been involved with to help broker a deal for shares of the Russian oil firm Rosneft to be sold to foreign investors.
Circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his Organization facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar.
The Trump Russia Dossier describes a massive privatization deal to deliver a chunk of the state-owned Rosneft Oil company to Qatar and also a secret buyer in the Cayman Islands.
Qatar has been a tenant at Trump Tower since 2008, though recent reports indicate they may have just vacated their state-run airlines’ corporate campus.
Donald Trump and Russia conducted the transaction in three phases; Phase 1 began in early 2016 with a meeting of the minds at The Mayflower Hotel to start the deal and a due diligence period, Phase 2 began just before the Republican National Convention and continued through Election Day, and Phase 3 happened after Trump’s shocking win and concluding just days before Buzzfeed published the bombshell dossier describing the deal.
The end result allowed Russia to trade stolen emails to help to Donald Trump’s election campaign (as well as that of many Republican Congressmen), in exchange for help circumventing American sanctions to transact the sale of Rosneft, which Putin desperately needed to finance his budget deficit.
The Rosneft transaction also purportedly sent a $500 million dollar brokerage fee to Carter Page, or perhaps the Trump Organization.
Besides cozying up to Russia during the campaign for the likely reason to make money, it appears Trump was also actively looking into a possible project to create a Trump TV channel, with which he could make money broadcasting right-wing media to his new legion of loyal followers after what Trump likely thought was going to be his failed Presidential election race.
He has repeatedly complained that the high ratings he has generated for cable news networks is making other people rich. Now he and his advisers are talking about a way to fix that problem. As Sarah Ellison reports in Vanity Fair:
Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him.
Donald Trump was actively trying to use his Presidential candidacy as a way to make money. This is, in fact, not an entirely new concept. There have been several Republican candidates for President in the past who had slim hopes to win, but were likely running mainly to increase their public profile so they could cash in with book deals, media appearances, and speaking fees. Ben Carson is an example of this strategy of using a Presidential candidacy in order to make money.
The unorthodox presidential campaign of Ben Carson took another twist late Wednesday when the retired neurosurgeon announced he would temporarily suspend his campaign. Unfortunately he’s not doing this for the usual reasons one suspends a campaign – cratering poll numbers, a juicy sexual-harassment scandal, a sudden onset of sanity. No, Carson will instead step off the trail to spend a couple of weeks on a book tour supporting “A More Perfect Union,“his just-released guide to interpreting the Constitution for people who think Ben Carson ever knows what he’s talking about.
The reaction on the right has been one of utter befuddlement. A candidate does not take time off from the Bataan Death March that is a modern presidential campaign just to read a few pages of his book to a bunch of elderly wingnuts in the back corner of the Hackensack Barnes and Noble. Especially not when he is in second place in the polls, nearly even with the frontrunner and far ahead of the rest of the pack. And he got there with hardly doing any traditional campaigning. Why stop now?
The shock would be a lot easier to take seriously if a) Ben Carson had not already shown himself to have a grasp of reality best described as “tenuous” and b) if there was not a whole conservative ecosystem of publishers, TV and radio producers, think tanks, con artists and assorted other flimflammers all dedicated to making conservative politicians and media figures rich(er) through a combination of generous funding by wealthy benefactors and sucking money out of the pockets of rubes inclined to buy mail-order survival seeds as a hedge against the imminent Communist takeover of America, all because Fox News told them Obama is coming to steal their guns. It’s a perpetual motion machine of grift. Ben Carson is simply cashing in.
As was mentioned in the above article about Ben Carson, his candidacy was basically a grift, a con, intended to make money. Donald Trump was likely following the same playbook. It has been previously suggested that Donald Trump started his campaign likely as a way to negotiate with NBC for a better deal for his Apprentice television show:
In Stern’s view, this campaign appeared to be a leverage play to get the Peacock Network to pony up more dough for The Donald. Considering that Stern previously worked at NBC, he may have some sort of understanding of how the network does things. Or maybe not.
“I think NBC was f*cking with him on The Apprentice deal. They were going to lower his pay,” mused stern. “I’m telling you the truth, listen to me. They were going to f*ck with him on the contract. He said, ‘You know what I’ll do, I’ll run for president. Even if I don’t win, I’ll announce, it’ll up my game, and I’ll get a better deal.’ Which is a smart move.”
This all points to the fairly obvious assessment that the current President of the United States is a con man, who was running for President as a grift, purely as a means to make money. And a good portion of the country bought it. Of course, for con men, the plan is to take the money then get away, and in a curious case of karma, the fact that Trump ended up winning the Presidency may have ultimately ruined his con.