Either Donald Trump’s associates and followers aren’t readers, or at least not discerning ones, or they’re as greedy and lusting for power as he has been, or, rather like him, they’re equally damaged narcissists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder’s (NPD’s) standard “messianic delusions of grandeur”. Also, I suppose one might suggest that some have been compromised (and blackmailed) or leveraged for want of some aspiration or dream that the Don might make come true through his legion of intimidating and obfuscating lawyers.
Approach the followers (carefully) in any manner that suits, but “missing data” upstairs–alternatively brazen disinformation, innuendo, and rumor–would seem a part of that now benighted bought or weakening, small, and violent constellation of Americans too easily led astray.
America’s moderate Democrats and Republicans have turned against Donald Trump as a candidate for the 2024 elections and beyond as they have perceived his character issues as deep and lifelong, which they are, but what remains with avaricious associates, lesser politicians perhaps hooked on his indulgence with “endorsements” (kiss of death from the inside out for those with integrity) and funding, would seem a profound denial as regards not only the common wisdom but also wisdom questioned and repeatedly corroborated. What follows in addition to telling quotations is a short list of reference associated with the former American president’s autocratic, vicious, and unscrupulous character.
More than 18 months into his presidency, Donald Trump’s modus operandi – and the danger it represents – is clear. His working method is that of the mafia boss and gangland chieftain, daily wielding his power to settle scores, teach lessons and crush dissent. Anyone who’s seen The Sopranos will know the routine: the casual intimidation, the obsession with loyalty, the brutal ostracism meted out to those who dare defy the man at the top.Freedland, Jonathan. “This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats.” The Guardian, August 18, 2018.
“My name is Carmine. I don’t know why you’re fucking with Mr. Trump but if you keep fucking with Mr. Trump, we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids,” the caller said, according to the account that the attorney, Kristopher Hansen, gave to the Holmdel police department in New Jersey. Hansen speculated that the caller was Trump’s bodyguard.Leopold, Jason. “‘If You Keep Fucking With Mr. Trump, We Know Where You Live. ‘”. BuzzFeed News, August 5, 2017.
Many of those who bought the condos, it turns out, did so not to live there but allegedly to launder illicit money – Russian gangster money, drug cartel money, people-smuggling money.
A joint Reuters-NBC News investigation published on Friday alongside a report by the non-profit Global Witness said the skyscraper with Trump’s name had ties to international organised crime.
The reports detailed how the future president gave the project to his daughter Ivanka as a “baby” effort to gain real estate experience, and said it ended up drawing a cast of characters accused of fraud, corruption and kidnapping.Carroll, Rory. “Trump’s Panama tower used for money laundering by condo owners, reports say.” The Guardian, November 18, 2017.
The meeting came just days after Kilimnik met in Moscow with Oleg Deripaska, a powerful oligarch and close ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Deripaska had been a major client of Manafort but had sued him over a failed business deal in Ukraine and was seeking to recoup almost $25m.
The Trump administration announced late last year it intended to lift sanctions on Deripaska’s companies, despite strong opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress. The treasury department had imposed the sanctions on Deripaska and several of his companies in tandem with seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they owned or controlled, and 17 Russian government officials, for “malign activity” which included “attempting to subvert western democracies, and malicious cyber-activities”.Stone, Peter. “Is Oleg Deripaska the missing link in the Trump-Russia investigation?” The Guardian, January 29, 2019.
Baker, Peter, J. David Goodman, Michael Rothfeld, Elizabeth Williamson. “The 11 Criminals Granted Clemency by Trump Had One Thing in Common: Connections.” The New York Times, February 19, 2020.
Barber, C. Ryan. “Paul Manafort just put a very favorable gloss over his work for a pro-Russia leader of Ukraine in a rare radio interview.” Business Insider, March 18, 2022. For a look at Yanukovych’s Ukrainian kleptocracy, see Yanukovych Leaks. (For a look at how little Donald Trump cared about democracy in post-revolutionary Ukraine, see Smith, Jeffrey R. “Timeline: How Trump withheld Ukraine aid.” The Center for Public Integrity, December 13, 2019).
Burleigh, Nina. “Donald Trump Is a ‘Russian Asset’ Owned by the Mafia, Author Claims in New Book.” Newsweek, August 17, 2018.
Carroll, Rory. “Trump’s Panama tower used for money laundering by condo owners, reports say.” The Guardian, November 18, 2017.
Chappell, Bill. “Trump Hosts Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak at White House.” NPR, May 10, 2017.
Crowley, Michael. “All of Trump’s Russia Ties, in 7 Charts.” Politico, March/April 2017.
CNN. “Rauch: Trump has mastered the ‘firehose of falsehood’.”
Entous, Adam, Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller. “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House.” The Washington Post, December 9, 2016.
Freedland, Jonathan. “This mafia style of government makes Trump a role model for all autocrats.” The Guardian, August 18, 2018.
Gessen, Masha. “The Trump-Russia Investigation and the Mafia State.” The New Yorker, January 31, 2019.
Glaser, April. “Investors in the Panama Trump Tower Included a Notorious Criminal Who Laundered Drug Money: The close ties between Colombian cartels and the Trump Ocean Club.” November 17, 2017.
Global Witness. “How Trump made millions licensing his name to a development used to launder drug money.” YouTube Video with associated link to a report. November 17, 2017.
Hirsh, Michael. “How Russian Money Helped Save Trump’s Business.” Foreign Policy, December 21, 2018.
Illing, Sean. “Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades.” Vox, January 12, 2019.
Johnson, Kevin. “FBI surges on DC home of Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch from Paul Manafort trial.” USA Today, October 19, 2021.
Leopold, Jason. “‘If You Keep Fucking With Mr. Trump, We Know Where You Live. ‘”. BuzzFeed News, August 5, 2017.
Lind, Dara. “Stormy Daniels’s story of intimidation from a Trump associate fits a 20-year pattern.” Vox, March 26, 2018.
Olear, Greg. Dirty Rubles. New York: Four Sticks Press, 2018.
Onion, Rebecca. “‘Just Remember: Roy Cohn Taught Him His ABCs'”. Slate, September 27, 2019.
Oppenheim, James S. “Trump and the Question of Insurrection.” BackChannels, January 9, 2021.
Oppenheim, James S. “Trump’s America in Retrospect: Russian Real Estate Entanglements.” BackChannels, October 9, 2021.
Parker, Ned, Stephen Grey, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Roman Anin, Brad Brooks, and Christine Murray. “Ivanka and the fugitive from Panama.” Reuters Investigates, November 17, 2017. Teaser: “Exclusive: How an alleged fraudster in Panama, working with Donald Trump’s daughter, helped make Trump’s first international hotel venture a success. The broker was in business with a money-launderer and two criminals from the former Soviet Union. Then he fled.”
Rauch, Jonathan. The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth. Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2021.
Rauch, Jonathan. “The Real Hoax.” Persuasion. December 13, 2021.
Smith, David. “‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy.” The Guardian, January 29, 2021.
Stedman, Scott. “Decorated Russian Naval Veteran Funneled Thousands to Trump, RNC.” Forensic News, September 21, 2021.
Stone, Peter. “Is Oleg Deripaska the missing link in the Trump-Russia investigation?” The Guardian, January 29, 2019.
Unger, Craig. “Donald Trump Was Everything Vladimir Putin Could Have Wished For: From the days when the KGB sought to cultivate him 40 years ago to his term as president, Trump was a useful stooge. And if he gets another term, he still can be.” The New Republic, March 2, 2022.
Unger, Craig. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia. New York: Dutton, 2018.
Unger, Craig. American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery. New York: Dutton, 2021.
Unger, Craig. “Trump’s businesses are full of dirty Russian money. The scandal is that it’s legal.” The Washington Post, March 29, 2019.
Unger, Craig. “Trump’s Russian Laundromat.” The New Republic. July 13, 2017.
Weiss, Michael and Casey Michel. “The Alleged Russian Mobsters in Trump World’s Orbit: A Dirty Dozen.” The Daily Beast, November 16, 2019; updated December 6, 2019.
Addendum, from November 11, 2022 Forward
I’ve added to the above reference section articles published before the publication date of this post, Oct. 10, 2022, but thought here to add #DJT pieces bearing down on about the same themes involving the former American President, foremost treason abetted by questionable character and an altogether malign narcissistic psychology.
Lowell, Hugo. “Federal investigators examined Trump Media for possible money laundering, sources say.” The Guardian, March 15, 2023.
Nava, Victor. “Trump Media probed by feds for possible money laundering after $8M loans from Putin-tied lender: report.” New York Post, March 15, 2023.
Olear, Greg. “Trump vs. the CIA (with Kristin Wood): The USIC warned us. We didn’t listen.” PREVAIL by Greg Olear, November 18, 2022.
Weiner, Rachel. “GOP operative found guilty of funneling Russian money to Donald Trump.” The Washington Post, November 17, 2022.
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