Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trump and Putin: more than bff's? (with updates)

Josh Marshall is a serious, fact based thinker and trained historian, not prone to speculative conspiracy theorizing, until perhaps today, but given his track record, and the facts he adduces in support of his hypothesizing, his concerns are worth consdering. And his concern is that at the very least,(to quote Godfather 3) Trump's ships sail in the same direction as Putin's.

Here's Marshall's nut graph:
To put this all into perspective, if Vladimir Putin were simply the CEO of a major American corporation and there was this much money flowing in Trump's direction, combined withthis much solicitousness of Putin's policy agenda, it would set off alarm bells galore. That is not hyperbole or exaggeration. And yet Putin is not the CEO of an American corporation. He's the autocrat who rules a foreign state, with an increasingly hostile posture towards the United States and a substantial stockpile of nuclear weapons. The stakes involved in finding out 'what's going on' as Trump might put it are quite a bit higher.
There is something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence for a financial relationship between Trump and Putin or a non-tacit alliance between the two men. Even if you draw no adverse conclusions, Trump's financial empire is heavily leveraged and has a heavy reliance on capital infusions from oligarchs and other sources of wealth aligned with Putin. That's simply not something that can be waved off or ignored.
Read the whole thing and mull it over. If there is anything to this, I expect to see more delving into the complicated relations between Trump and Putin proxies.

Update: by early afternoon this Sunday, it is clear from the talking heads on the Sunday shows that the Clinton camp is pushing this speculative Putin-Trump connection, making me more suspicious of its truth. Yes, Trump is in business with some very suspicious Russian and post Soviet gangster types, and yes, some of these gangster types are also in business with Putin people, and yes, Manafort is/was working for the pro-Putin Ukrainian, and yes, Trump just pushed for elimination of the GOP platform plank calling for aid to Ukraine against Russian military forces in the East, and yes, Trump did shrug off NATO treaty commitments to the Baltic states against possible Russian invasion, but these dots suggest a confluence of interests, not a Putin-Trump alliance or Putin the puppet master pulling strings.

Update 2: What does Putin have against Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

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