Donald Trump has staunchly refused to condemn Russia, despite overwhelming evidence that they interfered in our presidential election. The intelligence community has determined that Russia wasn’t just trying to undermine faith in our election process, they wanted to get Trump into the White House. But Trump would rather turn on the CIA than Putin, and not just because they helped him win.
Robert Reich says if you want to know why you just have to “follow the money.”
In a Facebook post on Saturday, the former secretary of labor laid it all out. He explained exactly why Trump won’t condemn Russia.
Over the years, Russian oligarchs, friends of Putin, have financed Trump’s projects and lent billions of dollars to Trump’s enterprises. In 2008, Donald Trump Jr., told a real estate conference “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” and continued, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Reich didn’t stop there. He went on to explain that it isn’t just Trump, it’s his whole administration that has deep financial ties to Russia.
The financial ties don’t end there. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, a longtime consultant to Viktor Yanukovich, the Russian-backed president of Ukraine who was overthrown in 2014, has done multi-million-dollar business deals with Russian oligarchs. Also: Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, came up through the ranks at Exxon by managing the company’s Russia account. After becoming CEO, Exxon bet billions on Russia’s vast oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft, owned partly by the Kremlin. Putin himself attended the 2011 signing ceremony for the deal. In 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens.
Sure, Trump doesn’t have a problem with Russia meddling in our election since they helped him win. But as Reich explained, it goes so much deeper than that. “Follow the money,” he advised. “Always follow the money.”
He concludes his post by asking, “What do you think?” I personally think we are screwed. The United States has been bought and sold, and now, we have a leader who is owned by Russia. And the GOP is just fine with that as long as they get to push their agenda through. How patriotic of them.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images