Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Manafort's lie about Ukraine plank part of Trump's Russian network

I use network in the sense of a connected graph. I'll get to that below.

The Daily Beast report is notable for two things. First, they document what went on in the Republican platform committee. Their sources flatly contradict Manafort's claim that the revision of the Ukraine plank "absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign.”

But this account is contradicted by four sources in the room, both for and against the language.

The second interesting part of the Beast article is the connectedness of Trump (and some of his family and advisors) to various Russian financial entities. Do check out the graphics and the accompanying narration.

One of the nodes in the graph is Carter Page, one of Trump's advisors on foreign policy. TalkingPointsMemo reports on a speech Page gave in Moscow.

An adviser to Donald Trump criticized United States policy toward Russia in a July trip to Moscow, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday. The trip came the week before the Trump campaign reportedly worked to soften language in the Republican party platform regarding U.S. support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.

"Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change," Trump adviser Carter Page said in a speech at a graduate school in Moscow in July, according to Huffington Post.

He also called for the U.S. to lift sanctions on Russia that were put in place after the annexation of Crimea.

Page has investments in the Russian energy giant Gazprom, and consults businesses looking to work with Russian entities, according to the Huffington Post. And he told Bloomberg News in March that U.S. sanctions on Russia have hurt his business.

This is one more piece of evidence to feed suspicions that Trump and his cronies are operating the campaign to further their own business interests, not the interests of the United States that they seek to command and control.

But why are there such suspicions at all? It all comes back to Trump's refusal to do what every other candidate for president in modern times has done: release his tax returns. Without those records we continue to suspect, as does the article in The Hill, one or all of three things to be true of Trump.

  1. He's not a billionaire ...
  2. He doesn't pay taxes ...
  3. He may be in hock to some very questionable people ...

Check out The Hill report for reasons to believe each of those things.

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