Donald Trump admitted that he does in fact have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, in newly surfaced a 2013 video which asked very specifically about his relationship to the Russian strongman. The Republican nominee then said that he has a relationship with Putin – twice, and with emphasis – then proceeded to trash President Obama, while undeniably praising Russia’s President as “very brilliant” for his handling of Syria, and praising Putin’s leadership. Trump’s statement below does not appear on Mother Jones Magazine’s October 5th, comprehensive timeline of the Trumps in Russia.
The interview was conducted by Thomas Roberts of MSNBC in Russia in 2013 in an effort to promote the Miss Universe Pageant, which Trump owned at the time and was hosting in Moscow at Crocus City Hall. “Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin? A conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?”
The rest is a transcript of Donald Trump’s 57 seconds long answer author’s emphasis in italics:
“I do have a relationship.”
“Annnnd, Ahh-ee can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today, and he’s going to be seeing it in some form.”
“But I do have a relationship with him.”
“And, uh I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened. I mean look. He’s done very brilliant job, in terms of what he represents, and who he’s representing.”
“If you look at what he’s done with Syria.”
“If you look at so many of the different things, he has really eaten our President’s lunch. Let’s not kid ourselves.”
“He’s done an amazing job. He’s put himself, really as a lot of people would really as a lot of people would say, he’s put himself in the forefront as a leader, in a very short period of time.”
“Now in all fairness to Obama, I think that he’s done the same thing with Bush, with President Bush.”
“I think that Putin has done an amazing job with showing leadership that our people have not been able to match.”
More supplemental material, including video of Donald Trump Jr. talking about his “many many trips” to Russia and more from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump‘s research is below this video:
Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on the price of oil, which was still high then and has plummeted since, sending Moscow into a sea of deficit spending that lasts to this day. In 2013 the price of oil was traded firmly in the $100 per barrel range, and it has plummeted 50% in recent years. Trump’s praise of Putin should be tempered with the knowledge that he runs a Russian petro-state.
We always knew that Donald Trump had a vodka brand – that failed – and it was in fact in Russia. We even accept the claim at face value, that the Trumps did tell the truth about selling some luxury real estate to Russian companies and buyers – not lightly, but it’s simply known in the real estate market that these buyers do exist. But the Trump family ties go far deeper than they’ve led us to believe, and there’s more video to prove it.
There has always been speculation about Trump’s ties to Russia stemming from one tweet in 2013 which is still on his timeline:
Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2013
Mother Jones unearthed this more explicit tweet in support of Putin’s Russian imperialism.
I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire. He has zero respect for Obama or the U.S.!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2014
We don’t know why the Trumps made the above or below videos, but they are talking to the camera and answering the questions asked. Below, Donald Trump’s namesake first son spills all of the beans on the many different asset classes they’ve pursued in Russia.
Donald Trump Jr. Says He’s Taken Many, Many Trips to Russia
In this 46 second video, Donald Trump Jr. says that he’s taken many trips to Russia, specifically to Moscow and scoured the country for hotels and golf projects. He is being interviewed off camera by a red headed woman in a black suit, alongside a silent older gentleman in a suit. (see image at below video from Latvia in 2012 at bottom)
The purpose of the interview is unclear, but the words below are a transcription with author’s emphasis in italics:
I: We have never heard about any projects in Russia, but it’s a big market. It should be interesting for a businessman.
T: It is. I’ve been there many times. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Moscow, looking at deals.
I: And what do you do in Russia? What kinds of projects
T: “It depends. I mean the things that I’ve looked at thus far, I’ve looked at everything from resorts, to a hotel. I was there last summer looking at a potential golf development, because that’s a big part of what we do also.
T: “High end golf courses and championship-type golf courses. A big part of what we do now is the hotel world so you know, building, managing branding, high end hotel assets. So I think any of those things would be possibilities.”
The only prior reporting about Donald J. Trump’s business ties to Russia was a 2008 conference, near the time of the Trump Vodka release. This video isn’t dated, but regardless the admission does not appear anywhere on Mother Jones’ comprehensive timeline of Trump in Russia events published on October 5th either.
This stunning new video raises red flags about the Trump family’s deep ties to Russia, and Vladimir Putin and why the Republican Party has jumped into bed with all of the above named parties by nominating Donald Trump as their nominee without properly vetting the candidate.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.