Continuing my liveblogging of my readthrough of @SethAbramson's new book, Proof of Collusion, which you can buy here.…
I accidentally skipped Chaper 2: Trump and the Agalarovs -- 2013. You can find archives of the other chapters I've done here:
So with the caveat that I'm kinda tired, here we go!
The theme of this chapter is the events leading up to the "pee tape" incident in Moscow. A reminder: I'm not summarizing or reviewing the chapter; I'm mostly pointing out things that help fill in the blanks in my understanding of the #TrumpRussia scandal.
p. 44: "Aras and Emin [Agalarov, Russian oligarch associates of Trump's; Emin was allegedly the guy who brought Trump the pee-pee hookers] have gotten onto Trump's radar screen by selecting the 2012 Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, to star in one of Emin's music videos."
So that's how Trump hooked up with the Agalarovs.
On p. 49, from a contemporaneous account in the Moscow Times, "During the pageant, Trump and Agalarov announce their plans to build Trump Tower Moscow, and ten days later more than $2 billion in funding is announced by a state-owned Russian bank..."
The account was published in 2013. So yeah, Trump really had no business going on in Russia.. Yup.
p. 51: "The Trump-Agalarov letter of intent will remain active, according to Aras Agalarov, for three and a half years -- a period covering the entirety of the presidential campaign." That's not corrupt or anything.
p. 52: "On May 27, 2013, just days before Trump invited Aras Agalarov and his son to Las Vegas for the Miss USA Pageant, the New York Post announced, in an article entitled 'Trump Researches 2016 Run,'....:…
This is why I was really anticipating Seth's book. It really is a through timeline, and we as a society, forget stuff quickly. We knew that Trump was working on a campaign way back then. History didn't start on an escalator in mid-2015.
Having everything in one volume is really terrific and hopefully a lot of Americans will read and digest it. I think I'm buying a copy for my folks. Anyway...
p. 53: "Not only did Putin award [Aras] Agalarov Russia's Order of Honor... but the Kremlin builder received the medal, Putin's clearest possible imprimatur, just ten days before Trump went into business with him." All these coincidences!
Obvs, Trump ramping up laying the groundwork for a campaign and getting increasingly frisky with Putin's associates have nothing to do with each other. Nothing to see here.
p. 55: "Pictures on social media confirm that Trump maintained his relationship with the Agalarovs throughout 2014..." This whole thing is an unbroken chain.
That's all for Chapter 2. I did Chapter 3 out of order here:…
And another reminder -- you can buy Seth's book here:…
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