I'm sharing my reactions to @SethAbramson's newly published book, Proof of Collusion. My thread on the introduction can be found in the link. On to Chapter One: "Russia and the Trumps, 1987-2012" thegreatconsolidation.com/2018/11/my-rea…
p. 15: "... the Trumps' many years of candor about their fondness for Russia, as well as their boasts of the money their many business ties to that nation have brought them over the years, will dissipate instantly once Donald Trump decides to run for President...."
"... not long after the 2012 election." This is a critical point that Seth has rightfully pressed harder than almost anyone -- Trump didn't just up and decide to run in 2015. This was planned, with the Russians, quite a bit before.
I'm likely to skip tweeting about a lot of this... as I said in my last thread, I'm mostly going to tweet things that I didn't know already or short excerpts that do a great job summarizing complex concepts. You're still going to need to buy Seth's book: simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
p. 14: "In 1996 [Trump, after a lull in activity re: attempting to do business in Russia]... returns to Moscow wit Howard Lorber, one of his two closest friends." I'm familiar with Lorber, but I had no idea of his connection to Trump, nor that Trump had any friends!
p. 15: "By 1997, though no construction has begun on Trump's hoped-for Moscow projects, the New Yorker is writing of 'the breadth of Trump's hopes for Moscow and business connections." Trump would probably deny this now, but this is a contemporaneous account.
The fact that he denies contemporaneous accounts that were accepted as fact, including probably by him, when they were written, is real evidence of him hiding something. This is something that expect will come up over and over in the book.
Seth then recounts the fascinating story of the 2002 Miss Universe pageant he talks about here:
p .17: "[In 2016] Paul Manafort moves into a forth-third-floor apartment in Trump Tower, paying $3.6 million for it at a time when he is making millions working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine." The one the government just seized: npr.org/2018/10/05/655…
p. 18: In 2007, "Trump attends the Moscow Millionaire Fair, at which he unveils Trump Vodka for the Russian market." I had no idea that was a thing, and I had no idea he went. But it figures, right?
p. 19: In 2018, Trump tries to start an entertainment company with a Russian MMA fighter, and "makes his attorney Michael Cohen [its[ COO." The same Michael Cohen that barely did any work for Trump. And brilliant personnel decision making your idiot lawyer COO of a company.
Jesus, from page 20 -- In the late '90s Trump sold 65 units IN ONE BUILDING to Russians.
p. 21: "The Charlotte Observer will note in March 2017 that [Russian oligarch Dmitry] Rybolovlev's plan was parked next to Trump's in Charlotte, not briefly, but for hours, five days before Election Day in 2016."
I knew this happened, and that it happened another time, but I had no idea that it was "for hours." Not a lot of charitable explanations for that.
p. 22: "In March 2017, Reuters reports that just sixty-three Russians have invested a total of nearly $100 million in Trump's Florida properties..." And they then said that may be a conservative estimate. Yowza.
Oh, this is cool. Seth then provides a 17 page annotated history, which is something he does in every chapter. Let's see if there's anything notable that he didn't cover earlier.
In the context of the Miss Universe pageant... p. 27: "In March 2008, Newsweek reported that Trump applied the 'Trump Rule' with two considerations: whether a contestant was 'too ethnic' (meaning whether her skin tone strayed too far from white)...
"... and whether she had snubbed his [[sexual]] advances." Swell guy, that Trump.
Huh. Interesting. From p.38-39, it is illegal in the US to rig a televised contest that is claimed to be a real contest. Trump was widely known to have rigged his pageants. Seth wonders if Trump can be charged for that.
That's it for me on Chapter 1. I'll try to do some more tomorrow or later in the week, with the goal of doing the whole book before Thanksgiving. I'll archive this thread on my blog along. This book is, so far, what I'd hoped. Buy it! simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
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