Maybe Donald Trump thought that after calling Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “genius,” he deserved a quid pro quo from the Russian president. Russia, however, is not Ukraine, and Putin is not Ukraine President Zelensky who was desperate for U.S. aid to counter the Russian aggression when Trump extorted him in that perfect “phone call” that led to his first impeachment trial. None of that prevented Trump from urging Putin to release any information that he had on business transactions between Russian oligarchs and Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden and a perennial target for the right-wing conspiracy mongers who are trying to restore Trump to the White House.
The disgraced former president made the entreaty during an interview with John Solomon, the extremist conservative journalist whose discredited stories about Ukraine forced the political news site The Hill to revise its editorial process.
On Solomon’s Just The News program on the poorly-distributed right-wing TV news network Real America’s Voice, Trump reiterated his questionable claims about Hunter Biden’s international business affairs, in particular the allegations that Hunter Biden was the recipient of millions of dollars provided by the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
“She gave him $3.5 million so now I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it,” Trump told Solomon duirng his Mar-a-Lago-based interview. “I think we should know that answer,” he continued. “Now, you won’t get the answer from Ukraine,” Trump insinuated.
One might think that Trump’s obsession with Hunter Biden’s business dealing with Russia would be best left unmentioned given the Trump Organization’s own documented ties to Russia and its efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Still, given the negative reaction that the majority of Americans — at least those who aren’t thoroughly onboard the Trump sedition train — have had to Trump’s post-Ukraine-invasion praise of Putin, another call resembling his “Russia, are you listening” entreaty to Putin to release damaging material on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential contest might not be the best look at this point in time.
A call for enlisting aid from the man who is among the most hated people in the world right now after his documented war crimes in Ukraine can lead to questions about exactly where Trump’s loyalties remain at this moment.
Those questions have a simple and invariably true answer: Trump’s loyalties are only to himself and his own benefit.
Let’s hope that he is finally held accountable for the many, many charges of illegal behavior that he has been credibly accused of and for which no evidence from Vladimir Putin will be necessary. Although, Russia, if you’re listening, we’ll take whatever you have. You can start with the transcript of the summit meeting between Putin and Trump where Donnie seized the notes from his translator.
You can watch a clip of John Solomon’s interview with Donald Trump in the video excerpt below.
Trump calls on Putin to release information on Hunter Biden, the same way he previously called on Putin to release information on Hillary Clinton. pic.twitter.com/xeGTgKsgjh
— Poli Alert (@polialertcom) March 29, 2022
Original reporting by Quint Forgey at POLITICO.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.