The HyperTexts

Donald Trump Russia Quotes
Donald Trump Russia Quotes Timeline

These are Donald Trump quotes about Russia and his apparent collusion with Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin, elements of the KGB and GRU, and that entire, vast, shadowy communist enterprise. For people in a hurry, I'm going to start with the "Top Ten Donald Trump Russia Quotes and Facts" in a mini-timeline format, concentrating on things Trump and his children said before their story changed radically after he elected to run for president. I will then follow with an expanded list of Trump Russia quotes and a more detailed timeline that begins with the birth of Frederick Trumpf (or Drumpf) in Germany in 1869 and traces how the Trumps made a fortune by operating brothels, only to be evicted from Germany for tax evasion and draft dodging. Ironically, the Trumps were refugees taken in by the United States! The Trump family business was operated according to mob principles (complete loyalty and obedience to the don, or in this case, The Donald). Russia did not enter the picture accidentally, but actually made Trump their primary target on the first day Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin set foot in New York, in 1986. Since then Trump has been helping Vladimir Putin complete his bucket list by withdrawing the U.S. from Ronald Reagan's landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, damning NATO and our our major allies, preferring Russian propaganda to American intelligence, repealing Russian sanctions, pulling American troops out of Syria and Afghanistan in helter-skelter fashion, etc.

The Top Ten Donald Trump Russia Quotes (a Mini-Timeline)

1986: "The Russian market is attracted to me!"

But how did the mutual attraction start? Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin sought out Trump on his first day in New York in 1986 and "hooked" him, per his daughter Natalia's personal recollection. It was Dubinin who later planted the idea of a Moscow Trump Tower in Trump's brain and persuaded him to visit Moscow, where he slept in the Lenin suite of a KGB-monitored hotel. Hence the "pee tape" or something like it might very well exist. (*)

1996: "Tremendous financial commitments!" with "almost all of the oligarchs in the room!"

After 20 years of seeking to build a Moscow Trump Tower, it finally seems like a reality when Trump announces a $250 million investment at a 1996 news conference in Moscow, citing "tremendous financial commitments!" An article in the Moscow Times lauds Trump as the city's first grand builder since Stalin. Trump describes one meeting where "almost all of the oligarchs were in the room." Trump would host cocktail parties in Moscow to recruit Russian investors and buyers. Trump would also trademark his name in Russia in 1996. In fact, four of the trademarks were officially renewed the day he was elected president!

2007: "It's ridiculous that I wouldn't be investing in Russia." — Donald Trump, testifying under oath in 2007

Trump also said under oath that there would be a Trump International Hotel and Tower in "Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul, etc., Poland, Warsaw." Trump had been doing major real estate deals with Bayrock, a company whose principals had apparent ties to the Russian mob. Those ties were exposed when Bayrock's director of finance revealed them in a 2010 lawsuit. (**)

2007: Trump launches his Trump Super Premium Vodka brand in Moscow.

2008: "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." — Donald Trump Jr., speaking in Moscow, Sept. 15, 2008

2008: "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. — Donald Trump Jr., speaking in Moscow, Sept. 15, 2008

2008: According to Felix Sater, while visiting the Kremlin, pampered Ivanka Trump sits and spins in Vladimir Putin's chair! Who does that?

2013: "I've done a lot of business with the Russians." — Donald Trump, Oct. 17, 2013

2013: I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper. — Donald Trump, Nov. 9, 2013, discussing the Trump Tower Moscow Project in an interview with RT (Russia Today)

2014: We don't rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia. — Eric Trump in 2014, explaining how the Trumps were able to expand their golf holdings during a major financial crisis when American banks refused to make such loans to anyone, much less the Trumps

Anyone reading these quotes would not get the impression that Trump had "nothing to do with Russia," no knowledge or Russia, no dealings with Russia, and no possibility of any deals with Russia whatsoever, as he would later claim.


(*) Please see the expanded Timeline for fascinating details about how Trump was recruited by Yuri Dubinin, as witnessed by his daughter Natalia after she picked him up at the airport on his first day in NYC. The Soviet ambassador had her drive him straight from the airport to Trump Tower, making a beeline for the perfect American kompromat. It was Dubinin who first planted the idea of a Moscow Trump Tower in Donald Trump's acquisitive little brain, then invited him to stay (probably for "free") in the Lenin suite of a hotel run and monitored by the KGB, complete with cameras, listening devices and other compromising paraphernalia. Politico called Dubinin's offer "a classic cultivation exercise, which would have had the KGB's full support and approval." And it's very interesting, and perhaps not coincidental, that after Trump returned from Russia, he first began to talk about running for president. Was that idea also planted in the Trump brain by Russian operatives skilled in the dark arts of manipulation? Did the KGB start prepping Trump to become Russia's man in the White House more than 30 years ago?

(**) How did Trump finance the YUGE real estate deals that he put together with Bayrock? Here's a tantalizing clue. In a lawsuit filed on May 10, 2010 over Trump Soho, Bayrock's director of finance, Jody Kriss, accused Bayrock and its principals of fraud. In the lawsuit, Kriss alleged that funding for Trump's big projects with Bayrock arrived "magically" from sources in Russia and Kazakhstan whenever the business was running short of cash: "Month after month, for two years, in fact more frequently, whenever Bayrock ran out of cash, Bayrock Holdings would magically show up with a wire from "somewhere" just large enough to keep the company going. Without those wires, Bayrock could not have turned the lights on, literally. No sane, let alone reasonable, lender would have lent money to Bayrock, particularly unsecured, in these conditions, and of course this being Bayrock, no interest was ever paid or accrued that shows, at least clearly, anywhere on the books." The lawsuit also alleged that Bayrock was "substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated."

Why the Trump Flip-Flop?

Before he became president, Trump and his children bragged about their Russian connections and all the money they had "pouring" in from Russian sources. But how much of the money was being laundered? How much of it came from highly questionable sources: the Russian Mafia, mobsters, oligarchs, perhaps even the Kremlin in order to compromise the recipients? After Trump and his companies defaulted on around $1 billion in debt, American banks and Wall Street refused to lend to Trump. Did Russians step in to fill the void? If so, what did they demand in return? How much "leverage" did they have to get Trump to do their bidding? If anyone knows, it's probably Robert Mueller. But what we do know is that Trump has completely changed his tune about his extensive business dealings in Russia. He now insists: "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

Amid all the political intrigue, we shouldn't forget about the human cost. Anastasia Vashukevich (above) is a Belarusian model who had an affair with billionaire Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and apparently learned too much about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She discovered that Deripaska "had a plan" about the American election. We now know that Deripaska was being briefed on the election by Paul Manafort, who owed him millions of dollars and wanted to get "whole." Vashukevich has been arrested by Russian authorities and her life may be in danger. She's just one of many "little people" who have to suffer as Trump feeds and massages his massive ego.

Donald Trump Russia Quotes (Expanded)

I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we've stayed away. — Donald Trump

Michael Cohen testified before Congress that after Trump told people at his political rallies that he had absolutely "no deals" in Russia, in private he would ask Cohen, "How are we doing in Russia?

It's ridiculous that I wouldn't be investing in Russia. — Donald Trump, testifying under oath in a 2007 court deposition

Trump announced plans for a $250 million investment at a Nov. 1996 news conference in Moscow. At the time he mentioned "tremendous financial commitments" and made it sound like a blockbuster deal. In 2008 his son Donald Trump Jr. told eTurboNews that he had traveled to Russia six times in 18 months, working on prospective deals there. While in Moscow, Trump Jr. informed investors that the Trump Organization had trademarked the Donald Trump name in Russia and planned to build Trump-branded housing and hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. In reality, Donald Trump Sr. has been trying very hard to build a Moscow Trump Tower for 30 years. He hasn't "stayed away" but seems more like a moth drawn to an irresistible but very dangerous flame.


But in 2014 Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson that the Trump Organization was able to expand its golf holdings during a major financial crisis when American banks refused to make such loans, because "We don't rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia." Each golf course on the average would cost around $100 million, so Eric Trump was talking about YUGE sums of money being provided "out of Russia." Was Russia laundering money through golf courses?

I have no deals with Russia. — Donald Trump

We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. — Donald Trump Jr., speaking in Moscow, Sept. 15, 2008

According to a Bloomberg investigation into Trump World Tower, which broke ground in 1998, "a third of units sold ... involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states." Trump World Tower sales agent Debra Stotts told Bloomberg that they had "big buyers from Russia and Ukraine and Kazakhstan." One broker, Dolly Lenz, sold "about 65 units in Trump World Tower […] to Russian buyers looking for real estate."

I have no dealings with Russia. — Donald Trump

Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. — Donald Trump Jr., speaking in Moscow, Sept. 15, 2008

The New Republic has extensively documented how the Trump Organization actively sought Russian buyers, so much so that the area around Trump Sunny Isles in Florida became known as "Little Moscow." Have the Trumps been laundering Russian rubles through American real estate megadeals?

I have nothing to do with Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. — Donald Trump

I've done a lot of business with the Russians. — Donald Trump, Oct. 17, 2013, in an interview with David Letterman

I have nothing to do with Russia. I promise you I've never made ... I don't have any deals with Russia. — Donald Trump

I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper. — Donald Trump, Nov. 9, 2013, in an interview with RT (Russia Today)

I had Miss Universe there a couple of years ago. Other than that, no, I had nothing to do [with Russia]." — Donald Trump

Reuters reported that a group of 63 Russia billionaires have invested nearly $100 million in several Trump properties in Florida. Is this part of a giant money laundering scheme?

I don't know who Putin is. He said I'm a genius. I never met Putin. — Donald Trump, July 27, 2016 in a news conference (Putin did not call Trump a genius, but "colorful" — perhaps like Bozo the Clown?)

I do have a relationship [with Putin]. — Donald Trump, Nov. 2013, in an interview with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts before the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow

I have no relationship with Putin. I don't think I've ever met him. I never met him. I don't think I've ever met him. — Donald Trump, July 31, 2016, in an interview on ABC's This Week (Trump claims to have the world's best memory, but can't remember if he met the world's second or third most powerful man, after trying so very hard to meet him for years?)

Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note. I spoke to all of his people. — Donald Trump, March 6, 2014, at CPAC

Trump told reporters that he spoke with Putin "indirectly and directly" while he was in Moscow. — Donald Trump, May 27, 2014, at the National Press Club

I don't know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia ... But I don't know Putin. — Donald Trump, Oct. 9, 2016, during a presidential debate

On the campaign trail, Trump said that he "knows" Putin. — Donald Trump, July 11, 2015, at a town hall in Las Vegas

I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia. — Donald Trump, Feb. 7, 2017, on Twitter

I got to know him [Putin] very well ... we were stablemates. — Donald Trump, Nov. 10, 2015, in a Republican presidential debate

All his denials about Russian collusion are contradicted by things Trump and his children have said, when they bragged about how much money they were getting from the Russians and all the megadeals they were doing in Russia. Like most liars, Trump can't keep his story straight. In reality, he and his family were secretly meeting with Russian agents, making "back door" and "back channel" deals, working with WikiLeaks and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, and jeopardizing national security by compromising themselves in their lust for money, power and blockbuster real estate deals.

"Mission accomplished!"—George W. Bush, May 1, 2003
"We have defeated ISIS!"—Donald Trump, Dec. 19, 2018
"ISIS has been defeated!"—Mike Pence, Jan. 16, 2019

Trump has nothing but praise for Vladimir Putin and Russia. Trump parrots obscure Russian talking points, as if he's been brainwashed. For example, here is a inexplicable cabinet meeting quote in which Trump spreads blatant Russian disinformation:

The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia; they were right to be there. — Donald Trump

This is Russian propaganda. This is Russian disinformation. Why is an American president parroting a Russian revision of history? No American general or other military expert believes this Russian baloney. According to Gregory Feifer, executive director of the Institute of Current World Affairs in Washington, Trump's "mischaracterization of the Soviet war contained no single scrap of truth, let alone logic." The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, 1979, in an attempt to prop up an endangered communist government, not to fight "terrorism." The Soviets staged a coup, murdered the president of Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin (who had been making overtures toward America and the West), then installed a pro-Soviet puppet, Babrak Karmal. As Max Boot pointed out in the Washington Post, "Afghan terrorism was a consequence, not a cause, of the Soviet invasion." The US strongly opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as did the rest of the world. It has been estimated that as many as two million Afghanis died as a result of the invasion and the resulting decade-long war, that three million more were wounded, than two million were internally displaced, and that another five million became refugees in other countries. The Afghan war became a "national humiliation" and "embarrassment" for Russians. In 1989, when Mikhail Gorbachev was president of the Soviet Union, the Congress of People's Deputies condemned the invasion as a "criminal gamble." But Vladimir Putin wants to revise history, presumably because he intends to repeat it and resurrect the Soviet Union to its former murderous "glory." Crimea has already been re-assimilated at gunpoint and the rest of Ukraine appears to be next on the menu. But here's something truly strange: this particular bit of historical revision is pretty recent ... so how the hell did Trump latch on to it?

First, it's obviously false. Eric S. Edelman, a former ambassador to Turkey and expert on the region, said: "Simply put he [Trump] has no idea what he is talking about." Chuck Rosenberg, a former Chief of Staff to the Director of the FBI, observed that Trump was "echoing directly" the "Kremlin line" on a "whole bunch of things," suggesting that there wasn't just a random mistake involved. But in any case it was a mistake that no other American president would ever have made.

Perhaps what Trump said was neither random nor accidental. Eliot A. Cohen, one of the most insightful and tenacious Trump critics on foreign policy, wrote recently for Foreign Affairs that Trump "has outlined a deeply misguided foreign policy vision that is distrustful of U.S. allies, scornful of international institutions, and indifferent, if not downright hostile, to the liberal international order that the United States has sustained for nearly eight decades." Thus Trump insults American allies, seeks to undermine or destroy NATO, and has no use for alliances that don't increase the American monetary bottom line (for instance, Trump repeatedly demands "protection money" from other countries, like a mob boss canvassing the neighborhood for more dough).

The conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which has usually been Trump-friendly even when he's off the rails, strongly repudiated his cabinet speech, saying it could not recall "a more absurd misstatement of history by an American president" and calling parts of it "reprehensible," "utterly false" and "slander." The WSJ in its scathing rebuke pointed out that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan "was a defining event in the Cold War, making clear to all serious people the reality of the communist Kremlin's threat." The op-ed concluded: "Mr. Trump's cracked history can't alter that reality."

The Washington Post called Trump's pro-Russian rhetoric "bizarre." The New Yorker's Susan Glasser wrote: "That sound you hear is historians, everywhere, weeping." Joy Reid said historians were "cringing." Rachel Maddow observed: "Somebody has apparently given President Trump the old Soviet Union talking points on why that invasion was an awesome idea. And so, President Trump decided to wheel out those Soviet-era talking points for the cameras in front of his somewhat bewildered cabinet today." And because the cabinet meeting in question was televised, the whole world saw an American president justifying the invasion. Max Boot opined that the incident reveals not only Trump's "invincible ignorance" but also his rampant "Russophilia" and "Putinophilia." David Frum, writing for the Atlantic, called Trump's apologetics for the invasion "only one moment in a 90-minute stream of madness."

So who instilled this mad nonsense in Trump's illogical noggin? The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler asked: "Is it possible that Trump's remarks on Afghanistan … reflect a conversation he had with Putin?" Lawrence O'Donnell unearthed a quote in which Putin himself said that he and Trump "regularly talk over the phone." And as Jon Chait pointed out, this talking point is set to become the official version in Russia within a month. Chait explains: "Russians have previously called the invasion a tragic error, but Vladimir Putin's regime — which regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as a world-historical tragedy — is systematically rehabilitating various Soviet crimes." So this new Russian talking point could be a preamble to, and an excuse for, an invasion of Ukraine or other hostilities.

Even more obscure Russian talking points appeared in previous Trump riffs when he issued "seemingly random warnings" that Poland may invade Belarus and that Montenegro may start World War III. As Rachel Maddow explained, these bizarre claims were propagated by Russia as part of its military intelligence disinformation campaigns. Russia wanted Belarus to stay in the Russian fold and apparently created a Polish bogeyman toward that end. The Montenegro disinformation campaign was designed to keep Montenegro out of NATO. Montenegro is the Rhode Island of Europe, a tiny country with a population of less than a million people and a military force with only 1,950 active duty members. So it would make absolutely no sense for Montenegro to start a war that it couldn't possibly win.

What are the results of Trump's bizarre words and actions? According to Dana Milbank, Trump is causing the US to lose the Cold War. According to David Ignatius, Trump is "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory." According to Jennifer Rubin, Americans are left with "unadulterated Trump" and the "bundle of misinformation, bravado and fractured fairy tales Trump tells himself." America's reputation and standing in the world are greatly diminished. Vodka glasses are tinkling in the Kremlin.

How can we explain an American president who repeatedly airs and authenticates Russian disinformation? One possibility is that Trump is being blackmailed and has been told what to say by Putin. Another possibility is that one or more of Trump's advisers are Russian moles who plant pro-Russian ideas in his over-receptive brain. Or it's possible that Trump has talked to Putin or other pro-Russia people and the zany ideas somehow lodged in his brain and popped up later. But knowing Trump and how he declines to read American intelligence briefings, it seems highly unlikely that he came up with these ideas independently. If Trump knew anything about Poland, Belarus or Montenegro, he would know that Poland is not going to attack Belarus and that Montenegro is not going to attack any significant country, much less start World War III. The fact that the most powerful man in the world and the commander-in-chief of the world's most powerful military seems to have been brainwashed by Russian disinformation is deeply disturbing. And yet the Republican Party, which claims to be "all about" the military and national defense, continues to support a president who more-and-more sounds like a Russian puppet or a total nincompoop.

TrumpNation author Tim O'Brien discussed the possibility of Trump "being fed inaccurate information about a country whose history he knows very little about." O'Brien said: "We have to wonder why these talking points that are clearly Kremlin talking points end up in Donald Trump's mouth. He's probably the most wildly ill-informed and illiterate president we have had in the Oval Office and he would be hard-pressed to find Afghanistan on a map. What's disturbing is when you move past the word salad of it, this sort of tragicomic aspect of Trump when he does this strange performance art is that it's a national security problem. You have someone who is the commander in chief and has lots of power to execute policy on behalf of the country overseas [but] he really doesn't know what he's talking about. And when he does speak, it looks like he's the puppet of other people."

Max Boot concluded his article with an Occam's Razor answer: "Trump is hazy on the details (perhaps he has trouble keeping straight the claptrap he hears from his pal Putin?), but he is convinced that the Russians are usually right. And when they are clearly wrong — as in their recent attack on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, or the arrest of former Marine Paul Whelan in Moscow — Trump has little to say. What accounts for the president's pro-Putin orientation? That is a question we must hope that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will answer. But it's difficult to think of an innocuous explanation."

The most obvious answer that fits the facts is that Trump really is Putin's puppet and parrot. Since that doesn't endear Trump to his ultra-conservative base, the people he always tries to please, it seems most likely that Putin has something on Trump that he doesn't want revealed — whether pee tapes, evidence of collusion, evidence of treason, etc.

Is this why Trump has repeatedly contradicted himself on the subject of Russia and Putin? ...

Please note that the most important Trump quotes may be the ones we have never heard, or that are just now coming out. For instance, the Washington Post recently reported that Trump "went to extraordinary lengths" to hide all records of his communications with Mr. Putin, even taking possession of interpreter Marina Gross's notes after their meeting in Hamburg and instructing her not to reveal the contents of the discussion to anyone, not even senior White House officials. Trump's behavior around Putin has become "increasingly suspicious" and no one — not even his senior advisers — has any idea what promises Trump may have "made in the shade."

"I am not a crook!"—Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Nov. 18, 1973
"I never worked for Russia!"—Donald "Tricky Don" Trump, Jan. 14, 2019

Trump's secrecy surrounding Putin "is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous," says Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state who participated in more than a dozen meetings between President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. "It handicaps the U.S. government — the experts and advisers and Cabinet officers who are there to serve [the president] — and it certainly gives Putin much more scope to manipulate Trump."

One thing we know with full and complete certainty is that Trump and high-ranking officials within his campaign and administration have lied repeatedly about their contacts with agents and agencies of the Russian government. We know because they have been caught lying in public over and over, condemned by their own quotes. The question is WHY? Here's a real-world answer from Louise Sunshine, a longtime executive with the Trump Organization: "In Trump world, everybody lies. Everybody doesn’t tell the truth. At the end of the day, they are all lying." That leaves the questions of collusion, obstruction and coverups in a government where the higher-ups lie on a daily, or perhaps an hourly, basis.

Perhaps the most disturbing quotes that had remained shrouded in darkness are the ones reported by The New York Times in which Trump repeatedly discussed pulling out of NATO because he couldn't "see the point" of the alliance. While one can quibble about who pays which bills, not to "see the point" of NATO sounds like a Russian opinion, not that of an American president. How can we explain Trump's constant stream of pro-Russian effusions, or his equally constant stream of highly negative attacks on our closest allies?

Retired Admiral James Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, told the Times that an American abandonment of the alliance would be "a geopolitical mistake of epic proportion." Stavridis added, "Even discussing the idea of leaving NATO — let alone actually doing so — would be the gift of the century for Putin." Michèle A. Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense, said the US leaving NATO "would be the wildest success Putin could dream of." The Times called Trump's proposal "a move tantamount to destroying NATO." Rachel Maddow called it "the most fantastical dream Russia might imagine for itself."

How close did Trump come to destroying NATO and fulfilling Putin's wildest dreams? According to Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia region, Trump "got awfully close" during his blowup at the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels. So close, in fact, that senators Robert Menendez and Lindsey Graham introduced a bipartisan measure that would require Senate approval of any attempt to withdraw the U.S. from NATO.

"The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naïveté, egotism, false equivalences, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate."John McCain

But what about Trump's quotes in which he claims to have had absolutely no dealings with Russia or Putin, after years of saying exactly the opposite? TIME called this "Trump's dodge" and a "classic magician's trick" in which he "shows one idle hand, while the other is actually doing the work." The truth, "as several columnists and reporters have painstakingly shown" is that "several of Trump's businesses outside of Russia are entangled with Russian financiers inside Putin's circle." As the quotes and timelines on this page will amply demonstrate—first in compressed, then in exhaustively detailed fashion—there is no doubt that Trump and/or high-ranking insiders within his campaign and administration have had numerous contacts and discussions with high-ranking insiders within Putin's very shady government. Some of those Russian contacts were professionally trained military intelligence officers. The others were undoubtedly being monitored by and reporting back to high-level Russian spooks. Thus, it was amateurs vs. professionals, rubes vs. sophisticated con men, babes in the woods vs. ravenous wolves. So even if Trump is not guilty of treasonous intent, he is a danger to his country and the free world because Putin is literally playing him for a fool.

And there seems to be little doubt about the grand bargain that was struck during the infamous Trump Tower meeting: Russia would help get Trump elected president in return for sanctions relief and "favored nation" status. In Trump's mind there was "nothing wrong" with this, because anything that helps Trump is automatically good in Trump's egomaniacal, acquisitive little brain. But everyone involved in the "grand bargain" on the American side was immediately compromised: Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Carter Page ... and, of course, the ultimate kompromat, Donald Trump himself.

Putin couldn't lose. Either he would invest relatively small amounts of money and save billions in sanctions, or he would have tons of "dirt" to hold over the heads of Trump and his cronies. Now we see Putin always having his way — with sanctions, with the undermining of NATO and the EU, and in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine — and it seems likely that Putin has been using the dirt he acquired to bury the United States. It's all part of a simple plan explained by Franklin Foer: "Putin runs stealth efforts on behalf of politicians who rail against the European Union and want to push away from NATO." Furthermore, as Foer points out:

"Donald Trump is like the Kremlin's favored candidates, only more so. He celebrated the United Kingdom's exit from the EU. He denounces NATO with feeling. He is also a great admirer of Vladimir Putin. Trump's devotion to the Russian president has been portrayed as buffoonish enthusiasm for a fellow macho strongman. But Trump's statements of praise amount to something closer to slavish devotion. In 2007, he praised Putin for 'rebuilding Russia.' A year later he added, 'He does his work well. Much better than our Bush.' When Putin ripped American exceptionalism in a New York Times op-ed in 2013, Trump called it 'a masterpiece.' Despite ample evidence, Trump denies that Putin has assassinated his opponents, 'In all fairness to Putin, you're saying he killed people. I haven't seen that.' In the event that such killings have transpired, they can be forgiven: 'At least he's a leader.' And not just any old head of state: 'I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, he's getting an A.'"

One pro-Kremlin blogger summed up his government's interest in the 2016 American presidential election with clarifying bluntness: "Trump will smash America as we know it, we've got nothing to lose."

Trump has repeatedly called the FBI investigation led by Robert Mueller a "witch hunt." But why have Trump and key players in his campaign and administration repeatedly lied to the American public, to the press, to Congress and to the FBI? If they haven't done anything wrong, why all the lies and coverups? And what about Trump's close ties to Russian oligarchs and the Russian mafia? How many of the Russian agents and mobsters mentioned on this page report directly to Putin and his henchmen? Why does Trump parrot Russian talking points about Afghanistan, Belarus, Syria, sanctions, etc.? Why is Trump the first American president to actively spread Russian disinformation and propaganda? Why does Trump seem to be the ultimate kompromat, an unwitting pawn lost in deep denial of the role Putin played in his election? Is Trump a witting, unwitting or witless pawn of Putin?

Putin is former Russian intelligence officer whose KGB code name was "Pale Moth." Putin has also been called the "Gray Cardinal" of the Kremlin. He's not just the president of a nation that is deeply hostile to the United States and to democracy; he's also a master of the "dark arts" of disinformation, misdirection and manipulation. Trump seems to be putty in his hands, always doing whatever Putin wishes (or commands). At this point it seems obvious that Putin not only wanted Trump to be elected president, but went out of his way to help get him elected. Why? It was certainly not because Putin is a fan of the United States or wants American-style democracy to succeed. The late, great John McCain called Putin "an evil man intent on evil deeds." And yet Trump would insult McCain then praise Putin to the skies? Why?

The Occam's Razor answer is that Putin has something on Trump, or that Putin is rewarding Trump, or both. For instance, Trump probably owes hundreds of millions of dollars to Russians, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of US sanctions against Russia. Putin could be offering to cancel or mitigate the debt if Trump obeys his commands, while threatening to expose him if he doesn't. Forget the "pee tape" and follow the money. The revelation that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation because it feared Trump could be working for Russian rather than American interests seems "stunning but not surprising" to me. Yes, it is stunning that an American president could betray his own country. But as we have watched Trump sell one ally after another down the river, letting them take the blame for what he undoubtedly ordered, it's not surprising that he would do the same thing on a larger scale.

On Dec. 10, 2018, Maria Butina aka "Red Sparrow" agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to violate laws prohibiting covert foreign agents and is said to now be "fully cooperating" with prosecutors. Her Russian handler, Alexander Torshin, is reported to be "retiring" according to Russian media. Toshin's "retirement" announcement came as news of Butina's "titillating" plea deal emerged.

"Red Sparrow" Maria Butina packs heat, modeling a white see-through blouse and holster for gun enthusiasts

This page quotes what Donald Trump has said himself, in his own words. I have also provided a detailed chronological timeline so that anyone interested can see how Trump's quotes evolved over time, creating a maze of lies and contradictions. The timeline shows how the activities of Russian agents like "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina and her handler, Alexander Torshin, mesh with Trump's campaign and his laudatory comments about Russia's thuggish Mr. Putin. The timeline also shows how members of the Russian mob serve and obey the ultimate mob boss, Putin.

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Maria Butina aka "Red Sparrow" packs heat, seducing American NRA leaders

According to Jeremy Bash, a former CIA chief of staff, the Trump administration has produced "the most pro-Russian foreign policy coming out of Washington in our history." A pertinent question is: WHY? The quotes below prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Trump and his cronies have been lying through their teeth. The timeline explains WHY they have been lying through their teeth.

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Maria Butina is always ready for action! When a federal judge imposed a gag order, that inspired a new round of S&M-themed internet memes!

According to the Moscow Project website, the Trump campaign had at least 101 contacts with Russia-linked operatives, and at least 28 meetings with those operatives. The Russian agents and accessories involved include Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Tevfik Arif, Andrey Artemenko, Julian Assange, Victor Boyarkin, Maria Butina, Yuri Chaika, Oleg Deripaska, Yuri Dubinin, Paul Erickson, Rob Goldstone, Irakly Kaveladze, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Dmitry Klokov, Sergey Lavrov, Andrei Nikolaev, Dmitry Peskov, Dmitry Rogozin, Andrey Rozov, Felix Sater, Evgeny Shmykov, Aleksandr Torshin, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Viktor Yanukovych and Oleg Zhiganov.

Trump family members and associates who apparently interacted and/or colluded with Russians aligned with the Putin government, even as it blatantly attacked American democracy, or who apparently lied in botched cover-ups include: Donald Trump Sr., Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, K. T. McFarland, Reince Priebus, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, George Papadopoulos, Wilbur Ross, Carter Page, Anthony Scaramucci, Steve Bannon, Michael Caputo, Don McGahn, Elliot Broidy, Erik Prince, Peter W. Smith, Rick Dearborn and Nigel Farage.

The "adults in the room" are no longer around to protect Trump from himself. Rex Tillerson and three generals who once kept watch over Trump are now gone: H. R. McMaster, John F. Kelly and James N. Mattis. When Mattis became the third of the generals to leave the White House, even Republican leaders were frightened by the thought of Trump acting on his often-erratic impulses. You can read what Republican leaders said themselves here: James Mattis Resignation Quotes.

"This is a rogue presidency," according to Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general.

How is this not treason? . . .

Donald Trump Russia Quotes Timeline

NOTE: I do not claim most of the information here is highly original. Sources used include Fox News, Breitbart, TIME, Newsweek, Newsmax, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, CNN, The Daily Beast, Wikipedia, and Politico, among others.

March 14, 1869: Frederick Trumpf (or Drumpf) is born in Germany. He would make a fortune by operating a bordello during the Klondike gold rush in Canada. When he returned to Germany, he was accused of income tax evasion and dodging the draft. (Like grandfather, like grandson, perhaps?) His son Frederick (Fred) Trump was conceived in Germany but the family was evicted before he was born, becoming homeless refugees. The United States took them in, but later the Trumps would rail against other refugees, especially those with darker skin. The Trumps would also claim to be Swedish, rather than German, among a long list of lies and misrepresentations.

Oct. 10, 1880: Elizabeth Christ Trump is born in Germany. Because Elizabeth means "vow" her name literally means "Vow (for) Christ (to be) Trumped." She would die on 6-6-6, leaving the Trump family business to her son, Frederick Christ Trump, who would in turn leave it to Donald Trump. Trump's inheritance has been estimated at $413 million by The New York Times. Thus Donald Trump's claim to be a "self made man" is yet another bald lie. Even worse, as Eddie Glaude observed, "He inherited a criminal enterprise."

Oct. 11, 1905: Frederick Christ Trump is born. Because Rick means "king" his name literally means "King Christ Trumper." He would be arrested at a KKK rally and Woody Guthrie would write angry songs about the racism of "Old Man Trump." He would also be accused of ripping off both the American government and tenants by exaggerating his expenses and overbilling public housing projects subsidized by taxpayer money.

1927: Elizabeth Christ Trump creates and incorporates the Trump family business, then called Elizabeth Trump & Son. She would hire contractors, have them build houses on empty lots, then sell the houses and live off the mortgages. She also handled the real estate closings.

June 14, 1946: Donald Trump is born on a rare blood moon. The Bible says the moon will turn to blood before "the great and terrible day of the LORD." It also says anyone who supports the Antichrist is in for a world of pain. Trump's life and career will eerily track those of Damien Thorn in the Omen movies: for instance the initials DT; an older brother who dies leaving the younger brother in charge; grabbing women's genitals; the building at 666 Fifth Avenue (explained below); and both DT's operating huge construction companies while in the White House and ignoring conflicts of interest. Oh, and what about Damien Thorn's 666 tattoo that he concealed under a pompadour combover?

Future events: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner will purchase the tower at 666 Fifth Avenue, a street symbolic of money (Mammon). The 666 tower will be purchased for 1.8 billion dollars, and that's the product of three more sixes. According to multiple reports, the famous Trump Tower is 203 meters tall, and 203 meters = 666 feet. Donald Trump will take control of his grandmother's real estate empire after she dies on June 6, 1966 = 6-6-6. The 2016 election was "all Trump all the time" and 2016 = 666+666+666+6+6+6. In the first year of Trump's presidency, the budget deficit will swell to 666 billion dollars (per Fox Business and other sources). For many more connections of Donald Trump to the number 666, please click Is Donald Trump the Antichrist? The rest of this page will concentrate on facts and quotations, but the information presented here may be of interest to Christians, Jews and anyone else with an interest in the Bible and its prophecies.

1949: By age three, Donald Trump was earning $200,000 a year (in today's dollars) from his father's business empire. He would be a millionaire by age eight. And it was apparently all part of a tax dodge created by his father to shield as much of his income as possible from income taxes. Donald's biggest payday he received from his father came after Fred Christ Trump's death. According to The New York Times: "It happened quietly, without the usual Trumpian news conference, on May 4, 2004, when Mr. Trump and his siblings sold off the empire their father had spent 70 years assembling with the dream that it would never leave his family. Donald Trump's cut: $177.3 million, or $236.2 million in today's dollars." And that was just part of a $413 million total inheritance.

1959: Fred Christ Trump discovers his son Donald with a cache of switchblades and sends him away to New York Military Academy for some discipline. It didn't take.

1966: The birth of Felix Sater (also Satter) in Moscow. His father was Mikhail Sheferovsky, an underboss of the Russian Mafia who was convicted of extorting money from local restaurants, grocery stores and a medical clinic. Sater's family moved to Baltimore, where he reportedly was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen. Sater, described as a "career criminal," would be sentenced to a year in prison in 1991 for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass at the Rio Grande restaurant and bar in New York. Sater would emerge in 2005 as a connection between Donald Trump and Mr. Putin's personal assistant, Dmitry Peskov.

1966: Donald Trump enters Penn's Warton School of Business and begins to buy properties with daddy Trump's money. His grandmother Elizabeth Christ Trump dies on 6-6-6 (June 6, 1966). The Donald will soon take over and run the family business.

1968: According to a New York Times article by Steve Eder, in the fall of 1968, Donald Trump aka "Cadet Bone Spurs" received a "timely" diagnosis of bone spurs that led to his medical exemption from military service during the Vietnam War. New evidence suggests that a Queens foot doctor who rented his office from Fred Trump may have given the diagnosis as a courtesy to the elder Trump. The podiatrist, Dr. Larry Braunstein, died in 2007. But his daughters say their father often told the story of coming to the aid of the young Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to his father. "I know it was a favor," said one daughter, Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56, who along with her sister, Sharon Kessel, 53, shared the family's account for the first time publicly after being contacted by the Times.

1970: Konstantin Kilimnik is born in the Ukraine, then part of the USSR. Kilimnik would become an interpreter for the GRU (Russian military intelligence). He became known among Moscow political operatives as "Kostya, the guy from the GRU." Kilimnik would become a translator for pro-Russia Ukrainian Rinat Akhmetov and would meet Paul Manafort, later Trump's campaign director, in 2005. According to reports, Kilimnik became Manafort's right-hand man in Kiev, to the extent that Manafort came to call Kilimnik "my Russian brain" while others called him "Manafort's Manafort." With the help of Manafort and Kilimnik, the Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych became president of Ukraine in 2010. From 2011 to 2013, with liaison to Yanukovych's chief of staff Serhiy Lyovochkin, Kilimnik and Manafort helped devised a strategy to discredit Yulia Tymoshenko and Hillary Clinton, both opponents of Vladimir Putin. Around 2010, Kilimnik collaborated with Rinat Akhmetshin when the Washington-based lobbyist was trying to sell a book disparaging one of Yanukovych's opponents. Kilimnik has been reported by The New York Times to be the "Person A" in Dec. 2017 court filings against Manafort and Rick Gates. Court filings allege that Gates said he knew that Kilimnik was a former Russian military intelligence officer. The sentencing memo for Alex van der Zwaan states that Gates told him that Person A was a former GRU officer. However, according to court filings it seems Kilimnik was still working for Russian military intelligence. On June 8, 2018, Kilimnik would be indicted on charges of obstruction of justice in conjunction with Manafort.

1971: Donald Trump takes over the family business in 1971 and renames it the Trump Organization. Eerily, another DT, Damien Thorn of the Omen movies, also with six letters in his first name and five in his last, would take over Thorn Industries in 1971. Both DTs inherited fortunes, had older brothers who died allowing them to take over, went to military academies, created large multinational business empires, became president, then continued to operate yuge construction companies while occupying the White House and sporting combovers.

1977: This from Politico: "When did the KGB open a file on Donald Trump? We don't know, but Eastern Bloc security service records suggest this may have been as early as 1977. That was the year Trump married Ivana Zelnickova, a Czechoslovakia model. Zelnickova was a citizen of a communist country. She was therefore of interest both to the Czech intelligence service, the StB, and to the FBI and CIA." There was considerable scrutiny: "According to files in Prague, declassified in 2016, Czech spies kept a close eye on the couple in Manhattan. (The agents who undertook this task were code-named Al Jarza and Lubos.)" As with other Eastern Bloc agencies, the Czechs would have shared their intelligence with their counterparts in Moscow, the KGB. According to the Czech files, Ivana mentioned her husband's growing interest in politics. This may have had a major bearing on events leading up to Trump's trip to Moscow in 1987.

1983: Trump becomes the owner of the New Jersey Generals football team. The team folds after the 1985 season, along with the USFL. Trump has been blamed in some quarters for the league's demise.

Jan. 1984: General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov is the head of the First Chief Directorate, the KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence via more than 12,000 intelligence officers. Kryuchkov instructs his agents to be "more creative" about using money and flattery to cultivate and recruit Americans. And no one was more susceptible to money and flattery than Donald J. Trump ...

As you read this timeline, please keep in mind that Kryuchkov told his agents that these new recruits "should be acquired chiefly among prominent figures in politics and society, and important representatives of business and science." The recruits should not only "supply valuable information" but also "actively influence" a country's foreign policy "in a direction of advantage to the USSR." And Trump would do just that, by praising Vladimir Putin to the skies while ignoring his military adventurism and working to remove economic sanctions that were stifling Russian "creativity."

A promising recruit would be promoted to a "subject of deep study," an obyekt razrabotki. The form employed demanded basic details: name, profession, family situation, and material circumstances. There were other questions, too: what was the likelihood that the "subject could come to power (occupy the post of president or prime minister)"? And an assessment of personality. For example: "Are pride, arrogance, egoism, ambition or vanity among subject's natural characteristics?" Trump would, of course, check all the KGB's boxes.

A major section concerned kompromat. The document asked for: "Compromising information about the subject, including illegal acts in financial and commercial affairs, intrigues, speculation, bribes, graft … and exploitation of his position to enrich himself." Plus "any other information" that would compromise the subject before "the country's authorities and the general public." For instance: "Is he in the habit of having affairs with women on the side?" Naturally the KGB could exploit this information by threatening "disclosure." This explains the "pee tapes" and other kinds of dirt.

April 1985: Kryuchkov's recruitment plan was updated for "prominent figures in the West." The directorate's aim was to draw the target "into some form of collaboration with us." This could be "as an agent, or confidential or special or unofficial contact."

1986: As Trump tells it himself, the idea for his first trip to Moscow came after he found himself seated next to the Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin. This was in autumn 1986 at a luncheon held by Leonard Lauder, the son of Estée Lauder. Dubinin's daughter Natalia "had read about Trump Tower and knew all about it," Trump said in his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal. Trump continued: "One thing led to another, and now I'm talking about building a large luxury hotel, across the street from the Kremlin, in partnership with the Soviet government."

The meeting was surely no accident because, according to his daughter's account, the first time Yuri Dubinin came to New York City, he actually sought out Trump personally on his ride from the airport! They made an immediate beeline to Trump Tower, parked the car, rode the elevator to the penthouse, met Trump, and the ambassador proceeded to lay on the flattery thick and heavy. Had he read Trump's KGB profile? That would be my educated guess.

And it worked, according to Natalia Dubinin: "Trump melted at once. He is an emotional person, somewhat impulsive. He needs recognition. And, of course, when he gets it he likes it. My father's visit worked on him like honey to a bee."

According to Politico: "In Dubinina's account she admits her father was trying to hook Trump." And it certainly sounds like Kryuchkov's recruitment and cultivation plan being put into action. Dubinin's other daughter, Irina, said that her father was on a mission as ambassador—a mission to make contact with America's business elite. To quote Politico again: "For sure, Gorbachev's Politburo was interested in understanding capitalism. But Dubinin's invitation to Trump to visit Moscow looks like a classic cultivation exercise, which would have had the KGB's full support and approval." Not to mention the KGB's ever-expanding Trump dossier.

Jan., 1987: In The Art of the Deal, Trump writes: "In Jan. 1987, I got a letter from Yuri Dubinin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, that began: ‘It is a pleasure for me to relay some good news from Moscow.' It went on to say that the leading Soviet state agency for international tourism, Goscomintourist, had expressed interest in pursuing a joint venture to construct and manage a hotel in Moscow."

According to Viktor Suvorov—a former GRU military spy—and others, the KGB ran Intourist, the agency to which Trump referred. Intourist functioned as a branch of the KGB. Created by Stalin in 1929, Intourist was the Soviet Union's official state travel agency. One of its most important jobs was to vet and monitor all foreigners who entered the Soviet Union. "In my time it was KGB," Suvorov said. "They gave permission for people to visit." The KGB's first and second directorates would receive lists of prospective visitors to the country based on their visa applications. As a GRU operative, Suvorov was personally involved in recruitment, albeit for a rival service to the KGB. Soviet spy agencies were always interested in cultivating "young ambitious people," he said—an upwardly mobile businessman, a scientist, a "guy with a future." Once in Moscow, they would receive lavish hospitality. "Everything is free. There are good parties with nice girls. It could be a sauna and girls and who knows what else." The hotel rooms or villa were under "24-hour control," with "security cameras and so on," Suvorov said. "The interest is only one. To collect some information and keep that information about him for the future." These dirty-tricks operations were all about the long term, Suvorov said. The KGB would expend effort on visiting students from the developing world, not least Africa. After 10 or 20 years, some of them would be "nobody." But others would have risen to positions of influence in their own countries. Suvorov explained: "It's at this point you say: ‘Knock, knock! Do you remember the marvelous time in Moscow? It was a wonderful evening. You were so drunk. You don't remember? We just show you something for your good memory.'"

By Jan. 1987, Trump was closer to the "prominent person" status of Kryuchkov's note. Dubinin deemed Trump interesting enough to arrange his trip to Moscow. Another U.S.-based Soviet diplomat, Vitaly Churkin—the future U.N. ambassador—helped put it together.

July 4, 1987: Trump flies to Moscow for the first time, together with Ivana and Lisa Calandra, Ivana's Italian-American assistant. According to Politico: "The top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit." According to his book The Art of the Deal, Trump and Ivana scoped out possible sites for a luxury hotel that he wanted to build in a joint venture with the Kremlin's hotel and tourism agency. Trump wrote that he toured "a half dozen potential sites for a hotel, including several near Red Square." He also said that he "was impressed with the ambition of Soviet officials to make a deal." The Trumps stayed in Lenin's suite at the National Hotel, near Red Square. The hotel was linked to the glass-and-concrete Intourist complex next door and was— in effect—under KGB control. The Lenin suite would have been bugged. Thus the KGB's dossier on Trump would have gotten larger. Nothing came of the trip—from a businessman's perspective. This pattern of failure would be repeated in Trump's subsequent trips to Moscow. But Russia would earn a tremendous return from its small investment, and perhaps from its eavesdropping. And was it a coincidence that it was around this time that Trump began to talk about running for president, which he mentioned in The Art of the Deal? Or was the idea planted via seeds of flattery? It does seem possible, at least. In any case, according to TV Guide, Trump considered running for president in 1987-1988 but was dealing with massive casino debt at the time and may not have been able to afford either the monetary or time investments required.

1987: Around the time of his return from Russia and the publication of The Art of the Deal, Trump creates the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is to be a charity in theory but not always in practice. In recent years Trump's "charity" has been locked in an ongoing lawsuit with the state of New York, which has accused the foundation of "persistently illegal conduct" that includes campaign finance violations, using foundation money in the Trumps' self-interest ("self-dealing"), illegally coordinating donations with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and essentially serving as Trump's personal checkbook. It has been alleged that Donald Trump stopped donating to his own "charity" in 2008, which makes it seem that he was spending other people's charitable contributions on himself. On Dec. 17, 2018, the New York attorney general announced that the Trump Foundation would be dissolved, with its remaining assets actually going to charitable causes!

Image result for maria butina hot

Maria Butina aka "Red Sparrow" seduces American NRA members and National Prayer Breakfast attendees alike

Nov. 10, 1988: The birth of Maria Valeryevna Butina, a Russian agent who has been compared to the sexy Russian spy in the movie Red Sparrow.

1989: As Donald Trump's failed businesses — Trump Shuttle, the Plaza, his Atlantic City Casinos, etc. — left him drowning in personal debt that eventually soared to around $900 million, his father kept bailing him out, to the tune of $8.3 million in today's dollars, according to The New York Times. But there was more money to come; a lot more ...

1990: During the 1990s, according to a New York Times investigation and report, "The president's parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances." But the elder Trumps apparently evaded around half a billion dollars in taxes by "gifting" money to their children rather than letting them inherit it and pay the appropriate taxes. The methods employed to avoid inheritance taxes sound illegal, but even if everything was legal, Trump is still obviously lying when he says the "only" help he received from his father was a $1 million loan that he had to pay back with interest! Rather, "The reporting makes clear that in every era of Mr. Trump's life, his finances were deeply intertwined with, and dependent on, his father's wealth." As for that $1 million loan, Fred Trump actually loaned The Donald at least $60.7 million, or $140 million in today's dollars, the Times found. But that doesn't include the much larger sums of money they gave him. Nor does there seem to be any evidence that Donald Trump ever paid back the loans he received from his father.

April 1990: Trump's Taj Mahal casino opens in Atlantic City, but would be bankrupt within six months.

Dec. 17, 1990: Fred Trump dispatched Howard Snyder, a trusted bookkeeper, to Atlantic City with a $3.35 million check. Mr. Snyder bought $3.35 million worth of casino chips and left without placing a bet. Apparently, even this huge cash infusion wasn't sufficient, because that same day Fred Trump wrote a second check to Trump's Castle, for $150,000 more, bank records show. So daddy Trump gave his spendthrift son $3.5 million on a single day, but all his casinos eventually went under, anyway. This was an illegal $3.5 million loan, so daddy Trump had to fork over a $65,000 civil penalty as well. But as much as daddy Trump gave to his son, The Donald was not satisfied. According to the Times it was around this time that Donald Trump tried to convince his father to sign a new will far more favorable to his already pampered son. For once, at least, Fred Trump stood up to his son and refused to sign the new will, going so far as to consult his daughter, Maryanne Trump Barry, then a federal judge. "This doesn't pass the smell test," Fred Trump told his daughter, as she recalled during her deposition. She agreed. Fred Trump's lawyers quickly drafted a new codicil stripping Donald Trump of sole control over his father's estate. Fred Trump signed it immediately. Fred Trump had learned something American voters need to learn: Donald Trump cannot be trusted, even what someone has treated him like a prince.

July 1991: Trump's Taj Mahal files for bankruptcy. According to The Washington Post, Trump "defaulted on interest payments to bondholders as his finances went into a tailspin." Despite all the money he received from his father, Trump could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos, and those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, also declared bankruptcy in 1992. PolitiFact uncovered two more bankruptcies filed after 1992, making six in all. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, after accruing about $1.8 billion in debt. Trump Entertainment Resorts also declared bankruptcy in 2009, after being hit hard during the 2008 recession. And this doesn't include other Trump business ventures that failed like Trump Vodka, Trump University, and others.

1991: The Russia-born Felix Sater is sentenced to a year in prison for felony assault after he stabbed a man in the face with a broken margarita glass at the Rio Grande restaurant and bar in New York.

Dec. 1991: Fred Trump apparently gave Donald Trump a "tax free" gift of $15.49 million by selling his $15.5 million equity in Trump Palace to his son for only $10,000. It should have been reported to the IRS as a taxable gift, but there is no evidence that such a gift was ever registered.

1992: Paul Erickson, later accused of acting of an agent for Russia in concert with "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina, manages the 1992 presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan.

Aug. 13, 1992: The Trumps incorporate a company named All County Building Supply & Maintenance that will allow the Trump children to siphon off Fred Trump's enormous wealth by overbilling him for maintenance and repairs provided to his enormous land and property holdings. The bills to Fred Trump's empire were padded 20% to 50% and the overage went to the Trump children and John Walter, a favorite nephew of Fred Trump's.

May 1995: Fred Trump signed documents granting Robert Trump power of attorney to act "in my name, place and stead." It seems significant that he didn't choose Donald Trump, doesn't it?

Dec. 1995: Donald Trump's 1995 tax return, mailed to the Times in Sept. 2016, showed a staggering loss of $916 million. No wonder The Donald wasn't satisfied with $413 million from his father and apparently tried to grab more. But the $916 million was not the complete picture, just Trump's personal fraction. According to Bloomberg, Trump's companies left US banks on the hook for a staggering $3.4 billion in debt. Thus, "In the wake of that collapse, Trump became a pariah among major U.S. banks."

1996: Trump returns to Russia, exploring the possibility of building in the heart of Moscow via a partnership with a group of U.S. tobacco executives. The group got as far as drawing up architectural plans and meeting with city leaders, but once again Trump failed to close the deal. While in Moscow Trump also considered revamping the dilapidated Hotel Moskva next to the Kremlin and raised the prospect of a "super-luxury residential tower" bearing his name on other sites he visited during his three-day stay in the city. At a 1996 news conference Trump announced that he intended to invest $250 million in Russian building projects: "We have tremendous financial commitments from various groups. We're ready to go anytime we want to go." But it was either more hot air, or something flopped. Trump trademarked his name in Russia in 1996; four of the trademarks were officially renewed the day he was elected president!

1997: Donald Trump publishes The Art of the Comeback. He never mentions the vast sums of money that he received in so many ways from his father. He makes it sound like he did it all on his own.

1997: "Moscow is going to be huge," Trump told Playboy magazine during an interview. Trump also told The New Yorker: "We are actually looking in Moscow right now, and it would be skyscrapers and hotels ... We're looking at the Moskva Hotel. We're also looking at the Rossiya. That's a very big project; I think it's the largest hotel in the world."

1998: The cover of the adult magazine Genesis asks "DONALD TRUMP THE NEXT PRESIDENT?" And 1998 = 666 + 666 + 666.

1998: Trump's association with Deutsch Bank began in the late 1990s, when major Wall Street firms would no longer loan Trump money following a series of disastrous ventures such as the Trump Shuttle and Trump's Atlantic City casinos.

1998: Felix Sater pleads guilty to racketeering in $40 million stock manipulation scheme linked to the Russian Mafia.

1999: Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin becomes deputy chairman of the third State Duma. In Sept. 2001 he would become the head of the Fatherland – All Russia political bloc. The Russian newspaper Vedomosti has linked the strategy of public consciousness manipulation through new media (such as social media) to Vyacheslav Volodin. Thus Volodin is apparently the Russian godfather of the troll farm. Legions of Russian trolls would help swing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

June 25, 1999: Fred Trump dies at age of 93. Donald Trump's inheritance, in addition to all the other money and property he received from his father, has been estimated at $250 to $300 million.

2000: Trump enters the presidential race as a Reform Party candidate and receives more than 15,000 votes in the party's California primary.

April 3, 2000: Trump says: "It's very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it." (Fortune)

Aug. 7, 2000: Donald Trump's mother, Mary Trump, dies at 88. Most of her vast fortune has already been transferred to her children. The inheritance taxes paid by her children are just a fraction of what should have been paid, according to The New York Times.

2001: Aleksandr Torshin is elected to serve in Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council. He makes his first contact with the NRA. Torshin would become the handler for Maria Valeryevna Butina, a Russian agent who has been compared to the sexy Russian spy in the movie Red Sparrow. Together they would infiltrate the NRA and use its enormous political influence to help swing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

2001: Tevfik Arif, a Soviet-born Turkish real estate developer and former Soviet official, founds the Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development firm that, according to a lawsuit later filed by its financial director, had ties to the Russian mob and the ability to make money appear "magically" when needed.

2002: Felix Sater, who has Russian mob connections, joins Bayrock. Bayrock would operate in Trump Tower and eventually do mega-deals with Trump, including Trump SoHo.

Dec. 2003: Donald Trump persuades his siblings to sell their father's remaining holdings to Ruby Schron. Mr. Schron paid $705.6 million for most of the empire, which included paying off the Trumps' mortgages. A few remaining properties were sold to other buyers, bringing the total sales price to $737.9 million. On May 4, 2004, the Trump children spent most of the day signing away ownership of what their father had doggedly built over 70 years. The sale received little news coverage, and an article in The Staten Island Advance included the rarest of phrases: "Trump did not return a phone call seeking comment." Even more extraordinary was this unreported fact: The banks financing Mr. Schron's purchase valued Fred Trump's empire at nearly $1 billion. In other words, Donald Trump, the self-alleged master dealmaker, sold his father's empire for hundreds of millions less than it was worth!

2003-2004: Trump begins hosting The Apprentice. The show's theme song is "For the Love of Money" and it warns that someone who loves money will steal from his own mother and family. Trump again mulls a run for president, but ultimately decides not to join the race.

2004: Trump creates the so-called Trump University, which is later forced to close as fraudulent.

2004: Carter Page, a future Trump foreign policy adviser, serves as a vice president at the Merrill Lynch office in Moscow and remains there for three years.

2005: Trump finds a new partner in the Bayrock Group, a Russia-connected real estate company with offices in Trump Tower two floors below Trump's executive suite. The Bayrock Group would obtain deals to build Trump-branded properties in several cities. Trump's point person on the projects was Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman with a very checkered past who has been described as "Mafia connected" and a "career criminal." (Sater once served a year in prison after stabbing a man in a bar fight so savagely that the victim required more than a hundred stitches. Sater also pled guilty to racketeering in a $40 million stock fraud case linked to the Russian Mafia. To avoid more prison time, Sater became an informant for the FBI and cooperated with investigations into organized crime and money laundering.) The Trump Organization gives Sater and Bayrock a one-year exclusive deal to hunt for land in Moscow for a development, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. While working with Russian investors on Trump's plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Sater found an old pencil factory he believed could be destroyed and replaced with a luxurious skyscraper. According to Sater, he would "pop" into Trump's office to keep him updated on the project's progress, so it sounds as if he was very close to Trump.

2006: Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump traveled with Sater in Moscow. While there, Sater took the Trumps on a tour of the Kremlin — during which Ivanka even sat and spun around in Putin's chair while the Russian president wasn't around. That's crazy! Who gets to sit in Putin's chair?

2006: Tevfik Arif, the ex-Soviet official who founded the Bayrock Group, helps Trump fund Trump SoHo in New York, a 46-story, residential-hotel hybrid building later renamed "The Dominick." Trump announces the Trump SoHo project on the season finale of The Apprentice.

Sept. 19, 2007: Trump, Arif and Sater attend the Trump SoHo launch party.

2007: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner purchase the tower at 666 Fifth Avenue, a street symbolic of money (Mammon). The 666 tower is purchased for 1.8 billion dollars, and that's the product of three more sixes. For many more connections of Donald Trump to the number 666, please refer to Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

2007: In a court deposition related to Bayrock, Trump said: "It's ridiculous that I wouldn't be investing in Russia." And he explained why: "Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment. We will be in Moscow at some point." And he was investing in Russia, since he launched his Trump Super Premium Vodka brand in Moscow in 2007. But it was yet another flop, fizzling four years later.

2007: Paul Manafort begins lobbying efforts on behalf of pro-Russia parties and interests in Ukraine. The organizations he worked with destabilized the country and are closely tied to Russian intelligence operations. These activities legally obligated to Manafort to register as a foreign agent, but he did not do so. Manafort apparently also worked with Russian spies and agents in elaborate bank fraud and money laundering schemes to illicitly earn tens of millions that he did not report to the IRS.

2008: Donald Trump Jr. told eTurboNews that he had traveled to Russia six times in 18 months, researching deals.

2008: "In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Donald Trump Jr. said at a New York real-estate conference that year. "Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

2010: Felix Sater becomes a “Senior Adviser to Donald Trump” with an email account and office at the Trump Organization.

May 10, 2010: Former Bayrock Group finance director Jody Kriss brings the first of several lawsuits against his former employers alleging tax evasion, money laundering and mob connections.

Sept. 28, 2010: Bayrock founder Tevfik Arif is arrested in Turkey on suspicion of running a prostitution ring with nine young women, two of whom were 16 years old, aboard a yacht.

2011: Maria Butina aka "Red Sparrow" participates in the Youth Primaries organized by the Young Guard of United Russia, the youth wing of the Putin-led United Russia party.

2011-2012: The dossier by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele asserts that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for "at least five years" before his victory in the 2016 presidential election. And were they ever successful!


Feb. 2013: Trump sends out his first tweet. Justin McConney, the man to whom Trump used to dictate his tweets, said Trump's first self-generated tweet "was comparable to the moment in Jurassic Park when Dr. Grant realized that velociraptors could open doors." McConney added, "I was like, 'Oh no!'"

June 18, 2013: Trump sounds needy: "Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in Nov. in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?"

Mid-2013: Creation of the Internet Research Agency (IRA) also called Glavset and the "Agency." The Agency employs hundreds or thousands of Russian trolls who post pro-Kremlin propaganda online under fake identities, using Twitter and other social media.

Sept. 13, 2013: Trump praises Putin for his criticism of the term "American exceptionalism," saying: "You think of the term as being fine, but all of sudden you say, what if you're in Germany or Japan or any one of 100 different countries? You're not going to like that term," Trump told CNN. "It's very insulting and Putin really put it to him (Obama) about that."

Oct. 17, 2013: In an interview with David Letterman, Trump says: "Well I've done a lot of business with the Russians. They're smart and they're tough." Trump goes on to say that Putin is a "tough guy" and that he's met him "once."

Nov. 9, 2013: The Miss Universe red carpet is rolled out in Moscow. Emin Agalarov sings a song, and Miss Venezuela is crowned the winner. A story published the same day by RT (Russia Today) touts Trump's latest business plans for Russia, quoting him: "I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper." Aras Agalarov was quoted saying he was participating in talks to be Trump's partner in the project.

Nov. 11, 2013: Trump tweets Aras Agalarov: "I had a great weekend with you and your family ... TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next."

2013: "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina meets Republican political operative Paul Erickson in Russia. The two become close, start dating, and eventually shack up.


Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin become regular guests at Golden Ring of Freedom dinners and VIP events reserved for people who typically donate $1 million or more to the NRA.

May 2014: Moscow has developed a strategy with the goal of interfering in the 2016 election and "spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general," according to the Justice Department. Russian intelligence launches a coordinated campaign to influence US politics and undermine its institutions by spreading misinformation, US authorities later conclude.

Mid-2014: The FBI begins an investigation of Paul Manafort for potential criminal activity related to his representation of Russian interests in Ukraine.


March 24, 2015: Maria Butina allegedly emails Person 1 to propose a project titled "Diplomacy." This has come to be known as the "Diplomacy Project."

June 16, 2015: Trump announces his candidacy for the American presidency. His announcement speech is riddled with lies. For instance: "I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall." The projected cost of the wall keeps going up and Mexico has not paid for either the non-existent wall nor the fences."

July 11, 2015: Maria Butina attended FreedomFest, where Trump gave a speech, and in what now appears to be a staged event, asked him from the audience about ending U.S. sanctions against Russia. (It has been suggested that the question may have been staged via cooperation between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.) Trump replied: "I know Putin, and I'll tell you what, we get along with Putin. Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big problem. Big problem. And Russia has been driven — you know I've always heard, for years I've heard, one of the worst things that can happen is if Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together, with the big oil deals that are being made. We've driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think you'd need the sanctions." This was, very obviously, what Putin and the Kremlin had wanted to hear. Was this a signal by Trump and his campaign for Russia to aid and abet his efforts to become president of the United States?

Aug. 2015: Trump meets Mike Flynn for the first time. The same month Flynn receives a payment of $11,250 from a Russian company. The reason for the payment is unknown. Flynn would receive another mysterious $11,250 payment from a Russian company at the time Trump signed the Moscow Project letter of intent. Was Flynn being paid for influencing Trump?

Aug. 2015: Michael Cohen and "one or more members" Trump's campaign meet privately with David Pecker, the chief executive of The National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc. Pecker allegedly told Cohen that AMI could "deal with negative stories" about Trump's extramarital affairs by paying the women involved, then "killing" their stories. In June 2015 the Enquirer would pay former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story of an affair with Trump. That was "substantially more" than what the tabloid normally paid for such stories, but Cohen had promised to repay the money. AMI would later admit that the "principal purpose" of the payment was to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Aug. 25, 2015: Mick Mulvaney, a future Trump nanny (i.e. White House chief of staff), calls Trump "childish" and his border wall/fence a "simplistic" idea!

Sept. 2015: Felix Sater sets up a meeting with Trump's personal lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen to discuss a possible deal in Moscow. This became known as the Moscow Project and the centerpiece was to be Trump World Tower in the heart of Moscow, perhaps right across the street from the Kremlin and Trump's hero, Mr. Putin!

Sept. 2015: According to a sentencing memo, sometime during or after Sept. 2015, Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen reached out "to gauge Russia's interest" in a meeting between Trump and Putin.

Oct. 2015: Andrey Rozov, a Russian real estate developer, signs a letter of intent sent by Cohen to advance the construction of a Trump World Tower in Moscow that would feature 250 luxury condos, no fewer than 15 floors of hotel rooms, commercial and office space, a fitness center and an Ivanka Trump spa.

Oct. 9, 2015: Sater emails Cohen to tell him he plans to meet with a Moscow developer about possible land for a building.

Oct. 12, 2015: Sater informs Cohen via email that his associates would be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a deputy on Oct. 14, and that VTB Bank would fund the Moscow project. (VTB was and remains subject to sanctions by the US government.)

Oct. 13, 2015. Sater sends Cohen a letter of intent to move forward on the deal in Moscow, signed by Rozov.

Oct. 28, 2015: Trump signs the letter of intent. (CNN later produced the letter of intent with Trump's signature.) Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that he has no investments in Russia, no knowledge of Russia, etc.

Nov. 2015: According to federal prosecutors, there is a phone call between Cohen and an unnamed Russian who claimed to be a "trusted person" in Moscow. The Russian explained to Cohen how the Russian government could provide the Trump campaign with "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level," and offered to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and Vladimir Putin. The Russian told Cohen that there was "no bigger warranty in any project than the consent" of Mr. Putin, who could have a "phenomenal" influence on both the tower project and Trump's presidential ambitions. Cohen would later lie to the Senate and House intelligence committees about these back-channel conversations with Russian agents and how long they went on.

Nov. 3, 2015: Sater emails Cohen: "Buddy our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process." Sater also says: "My next steps are very sensitive with Putin's very, very close people. We can pull this off."

Nov. 10, 2015: Trump says at a GOP debate that he got to know Putin "very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night."

Dec. 2, 2015: Trump is asked about Sater. "Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it," Trump said. "I'm not that familiar with him."

Dec. 10, 2015: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn attends Russia Today's 10th anniversary dinner. He gets paid $45,000 for the RT speaking engagement and sits just two seats from Putin. RT is funded by the Russian government. A 2017 report by the United States Intelligence Community characterized RT as "The Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet" and said that RT America had been set up as an autonomous nonprofit organization in order to "avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act." Flynn would become Trump's National Security Adviser and would fail to disclose the income on his government financial disclosure forms.

Dec. 17, 2015: Cohen sends Sater a news article in which Putin calls Trump "talented" and "colorful." Knowing how susceptible Trump is to flattery, Cohen apparently sees an opportunity: "Now is the time," he replies. "Call me." Trump praises Putin in return, even though he has murdered journalists and invaded Crimea and Ukraine: "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond."

Dec. 31, 2015: Sater informs Cohen that the new funder will be GenBank (like VTB, subject to sanctions). Sater indicates that meetings in Moscow will include Dmitry Peskov, Putin's press secretary.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump are included on email messages about the Moscow project during this period (late 2015 and early 2016) or communicate directly with Cohen about it. Ivanka Trump even recommends an architect!

Dec. 2015: "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin invite NRA leaders to Moscow in Dec. 2015, a delegation that includes David Keene, a former NRA president and past head of the powerful American Conservative Union. Documents reviewed by The Washington Post show the group met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. After the meeting ended, Butina sent Torshin a message in Russian that Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson said could be rendered: "We should let them express their gratitude now, and put pressure on them quietly later." In other words, according to Butina they had been compromised and could be subject to blackmail. Butina told Torshin that she predicted a Republican presidential victory, and with her contacts and the NRA's influence, she said, "she had laid the groundwork for an unofficial channel of communication with the next U.S. administration."


While running for president in 2015-2016, Trump would almost invariably speak highly of Putin while criticizing his adversaries and detractors, including NATO, the European Union and American intelligence agencies. Trump's bromance with Putin seldom wavered, even as evidence began to emerge that Russia was interfering in the 2016 presidential election, on Trump's behalf.

Jan. 9, 2016: At a rally in Iowa, Trump says: "I like money. I'm very greedy. I'm a greedy person. I shouldn't tell you that, I'm a greedy—I've always been greedy. I love money, right?"

Jan. 14, 2016: Cohen emails Dmitry Peskov to ask for help with the stalled Moscow Project.

Jan. 20, 2016: Cohen and Peskov's assistant (identified as "Assistant 1" in the statement of offense) speak on the phone for 20 minutes. Part of this conversation, according to BuzzFeed News, allegedly included the prospect of giving the penthouse property, valued at $50 million, as a gift to Putin.

Feb. 17, 2016: "Putin called me a genius!" Trump says at a campaign event in South Carolina. He will repeat the claim at other events.

March 6, 2016: Around the time George Papadopoulos learns that he will be a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. He has a conversation with a supervisory campaign official. Papadopoulos leaves the conversation with the understanding that "a principal foreign policy focus of the Campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia."

March 21, 2016: When asked who his foreign policy advisers are, during an interview with The Washington Post, Trump names Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

March 29, 2016: Trump hires Paul Manafort to help lead his delegate-gathering efforts at the upcoming Republican National Convention. Manafort had been working as a senior adviser to pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and various pro-Russia oligarchs. Why did Trump hire Manafort? It seems very odd that Manafort, who owed $10 to $20 million to an oligarch, offered to work for Trump for free. Did Manafort get money from Russia for his influence on Trump?

April 18, 2016: A mysterious professor introduces Papadopoulos to an individual who has connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos and the individual go on to have "multiple conversations over Skype and email about setting 'the groundwork' for a 'potential' meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials," according to court documents.

April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos meets the professor for breakfast at a London hotel. The professor says he has just returned from meeting with high-level Russian government officials in Moscow and that "he (the Professor) learned that that the Russians had obtained 'dirt' on then-candidate Clinton," according to court documents. Papadopoulos would later tell the FBI that the professor also said the Russians had "emails of Clinton" and "they have thousands of emails."

May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort, a man with many connections to Russia, including influencing elections, is promoted to Trump Campaign Chairman.

May 20, 2016: The day after Manafort's promotion, at a dinner on the sideline of the NRA convention, Alexander Torshin and Donald Trump Jr. are seated near each other and finally meet.

June 2016: As Franklin Foer put it, we are about to see that "A foreign power that wishes ill upon the United States has attached itself to a major presidential campaign."

June 7, 2016: The final primaries end. Trump formally clinches the Republican nomination. Around this time Donald Trump Jr. is already setting up a secret meeting with a Russian government agent at the Trump Tower. One of his father's former Russian business partners, Aras Agalarov, had been contacted by a senior Russian government official who was offering to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton. The documents "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," read the email which offered "obviously very high level and sensitive information" as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." If the future president's eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father's campaign — he gave no indication. He replied within minutes: "If it's what you say I love it!" After a brief flurry of emails, the intermediary proposed a meeting in New York with a "Russian government attorney."

June 7-8, 2016: Goldstone sends Trump Jr. another email about setting up an in-person meeting with a "Russian government attorney" who will be flying from Moscow to New York on June 9, to talk to representatives from the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in New York. Trump loops in Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, so this will obviously be a very high-level meeting.

June 9, 2016: Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner meet with a Kremlin-linked attorney, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, at the NYC Trump Tower. The meeting is set up through the Agalarovs and includes one their top executives, Irakly "Ike" Kaveladze, as the "eighth man." Meanwhile, Sater tries to get Cohen to confirm his trip to Russia, an effort that continues for several days. One of the parties involved in setting up the meeting was Rob Goldstone, a British music publicist who represented Emin Agalarov. Goldstone said in an email to Donald Trump Jr. that Ms. Veselnitskaya had obtained the documents from the top Russian prosecutor. In a July 14, 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Natalia Veselnitskaya acknowledged that she was in regular contact with the Russian prosecutor general's office and with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika "while waging a campaign against U.S. sanctions." In an interview with NBC News, Ms. Veselnitskaya admitted: "I am a lawyer, and I am an informant. Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general." Ms. Veselnitskaya had represented the Russian F.S.B. (the successor agency to the K.G.B. once headed by Vladimir Putin, whose code name was Pale Moth).

June 12, 2016: Just three days after the Trump Tower meeting, during an interview on British television, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the website has obtained and will publish a batch of Clinton emails.

June 14, 2016: The Washington Post reports that Russian hackers infiltrated the DNC's computer network. That same day, Sater and Cohen meet in the lobby of Trump Tower. In reality, Trump had been trying very hard to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, even while he was campaigning for president.

June 15, 2016: A Russian hacker going by the name Guccifer 2.0 posts documents stolen from the DNC.

June 16, 2016: Trump tweets about Vladimir Putin: "A guy calls me a genius and they want me to renounce him? I'm not going to renounce him."

June 20, 2016: Aras Agalarov moves approximately $20 million from an offshore account to the US bank account of a just-created Delaware company. The money transfer was reportedly flagged to US Treasury officials as suspicious. On the same day as the transfer, Trump fires his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, leaving his Russian-connected campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in charge. Is it just a coincidence that the $20 million fee Aras Agalarov paid to Trump in 2013 seems to "match" the 2016 transaction? Was Lewandowski fired and replaced by Manafort because the Trump campaign was getting into bed with Putin?

June 2016: Cohen and Sater have final conversations about the proposed Moscow Project. It has apparently become too hot to pursue because of the pending Russia investigations.

July 4, 2016: One pro-Kremlin blogger summed up his government's interest in this election with clarifying bluntness: "Trump will smash America as we know it, we've got nothing to lose."

July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks publishes about 20,000 emails stolen from the DNC.

July 25-26, 2016: American intelligence officials inform the White House that they have "high confidence" that Russia is behind the DNC hacks. The FBI announces publicly that it believes the DNC cyberattacks are linked to Russia. TIME will report within a week that "Russian intelligence agencies have allegedly recently digitally broken into four different American organizations that are affiliated either with Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party since late May. All of the hacks appear designed to benefit Donald Trump's presidential aspirations in one fashion or another."

July 27, 2016: Trump invites Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails from the private server she used as secretary of state. "I will tell you this, Russia: If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said at a news conference. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." Or perhaps by Trump and his administration?

Around this time Trump said in a tweet: "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia." Perhaps, but how many investments did Russia have in Trump?

July 20, 2016: Carter Page meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. In spite of this meeting, Page continues to deny publicly that he met with any Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

Aug. 8, 2016: Trump ally and friend Roger Stone tells a group of Florida Republicans that he has "communicated with Assange."

Aug. 14, 2016: The New York Times publishes an exposé on Ukrainian documents that appear to show that $12.7 million in cash was earmarked for Paul Manafort by the Russia-aligned Party of Regions. The illegal cash payments to Manafort were listed in a secret ledger linked to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who resigned amid street protests. Manafort had worked as an adviser to Yanukovych and his associates dating back at least a decade.

Aug. 19, 2016: Paul Manafort resigns as Trump's campaign chairman.

Aug. 2016: "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina moves to the United States on a student visa, but the FBI has already been watching her, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. After the FBI began monitoring her, Butina infiltrated the NRA, compromised NRA higher-ups, attended Trump inauguration ball, and tried to arrange a meeting between Trump and a senior Russian government official at the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

Aug.-Sept. 2016: According to a dossier of reports compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with major Russian officials in Aug.-Sept. 2016. The dossier notes that a Kremlin intelligence asset identified as Konstantin Kosachev, "an important figure in the Trump campaign-Kremlin liaison operation," was present at the meeting with Cohen.

Sept. 23, 2016: Yahoo News reports that US intelligence agencies are investigating whether Page engaged in private communications with senior Russian officials, including talks about a potential lifting of economic sanctions should Trump be elected President.

Sept. 5, 2016: The Washington Post reports that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating "a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions."

Sept. 7, 2016: Trump prefers Mr. Putin to the American president: "He's been a leader far more than our president has been a leader."

Oct. 3, 2016: Roger Stone tweets: "I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp"

Oct. 4, 2016: Paul Erickson, Person 1 in the federal complaint against Maria Butina, allegedly emails an acquaintance: "I've been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin and key POLITICAL PARTY I (i.e., the Republican Party) leaders through, of all conduits, the [NRA]." Apparently, Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina have been successful in their efforts to create a back channel to the GOP through the NRA. (The NRA would contribute more than $30 million to Trump's campaigns and there are allegations some of the money was provided by Russia.)

Oct. 7, 2016: WikiLeaks publishes emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's personal email account. The release comes just hours after the infamous Access Hollywood tape emerges in which Trump brags to Billy Bush about groping women's genitals without asking their permission. James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, says hacked documents posted on DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks appear linked to Russian intelligence and accuses "Russia's senior-most officials" of directing the hacks.

Oct. 7, 2016: Trump says "I love WikiLeaks" at a Pennsylvania rally.

Oct. 7, 2016: Stone tells a Florida TV station that he has "back-channel communication" with Assange.

Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected the 45th president of the United States. Vodka glasses tinkle merrily in the Kremlin. Trump is their man, Putin's man in the White House. Trump had trademarked his name in Russia in 1996; four of the trademarks were officially renewed the day he was elected president! The Russian parliament bursts into applause at news of Trump's victory.

Nov. 9, 2016: Just a few minutes after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Vyacheslav Nikonov made a very unusual statement to the Russian Duma: "Dear friends, respected colleagues! Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton admitted her defeat in US presidential elections, and a second ago Trump started his speech as an elected president of the United States of America, and I congratulate you on this."

Nov. 10, 2016 — Trump meets with President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama reportedly warns Trump against hiring Michael Flynn.

Trump family members and associates who allegedly interacted with Russians include: Donald Trump Sr., Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, George Papadopoulos, Wilbur Ross, Carter Page, Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Caputo, Elliot Broidy, Erik Prince, Peter W. Smith, Felix Sater, Andrei Nikolaev and Nigel Farage.

Nov. 13, 2016: Trump names Reince Priebus his White House Chief of Staff. Priebus would later say: "The president has zero psychological ability to recognize empathy or pity in any way."

Nov. 18, 2016: Trump names Michael Flynn his National Security Adviser over the warnings of President Obama.

Nov. 30, 2016: Maria Butina allegedly emails Person 1 about the prayer breakfast, assuring Person 1 that the people included in the Russian delegation, handpicked by Torshin and herself, were "coming to establish a back channel of communication." Person 1 is Butina's lover, Paul Erickson.

Dec. 1, 2016: Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner meet with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, at Trump Tower to discuss a "back channel" between Russian computers and the Trump computer network.

Dec. 13, 2016: Kushner meets Russian banker Sergey Gorkov at Trump Tower. Gorkov is the chairman of Vnesheconombank (VEB), a bank sanctioned by the United States after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Kushner is known to have major debt problems related to his tower at 666 Fifth Avenue (an ominous address).

Dec. 22, 2016: Flynn calls Kislyak and asks if Russia would delay or defeat an upcoming U.N. Security Council resolution vote, undercutting the position of the American government under President Obama.

Dec. 26, 2016: The day after Christmas, Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB official suspected of assisting a former British spy in compiling a dossier alleging Trump ties to Russia, is found dead in the back seat of his car in Moscow.

Dec. 29, 2016: Obama orders the ejection of 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the country and imposes sanctions on two Russian intelligence services as retaliation for the election-interference campaign. Flynn has a series of phone calls with Kislyak. He would later acknowledge that it was possible they discussed the newly imposed sanctions, but he "couldn't be certain."

Dec. 30, 2016: Putin announces he will not retaliate against the U.S. expulsions. His foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, had previously recommended Russia respond with similar expulsions. Trump tweets: "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!" Was he smart, or was he in collusion with Trump?


Jan. 6, 2017: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases an unclassified report expressing the conclusion of the CIA, FBI and NSA about Russian election interference. The report concludes that DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks all obtained documents via Russian government-backed hackers. That same day, James Clapper, FBI director James Comey and CIA director John Brennan brief Trump at Trump Tower on the intelligence community's findings. Trump ignores American intelligence agencies and tells The New York Times that the Russia controversy is a "political witch hunt." Trump releases a statement saying the hacks had "absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election."

Jan. 10, 2017: Jeff Sessions states under oath at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "I did not have communications with the Russians." This would prove to be yet another lie.

Jan. 22, 2017: On the same day Flynn is sworn in as national security adviser, the Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated Flynn's communications with Russian officials.

Jan. 24, 2017: Two days after he was sworn in, during an interview with FBI agents Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, Flynn says that he did not urge Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to refrain from responding to new U.S. sanctions and that he did not ask the ambassador to delay a U.N. Security Council vote. Flynn would later plead guilty to lying to the FBI about both conversations with Kislyak.

Jan. 25, 2017: The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announces an investigation of Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and "any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns."

Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates meets with White House counsel Donald McGahn in his office. She tells McGahn that high-ranking administration officials, including Vice President Pence, had made statements "about General Flynn's conduct that we knew to be untrue."

Jan. 27, 2017: Papadopoulos agrees to be interviewed by FBI agents. During the interview he makes a number of false statements. Trump and James Comey dine at the White House. It is reported that Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him; Comey declined.

Jan. 30, 2017: Sally Yates invites the top White House lawyer to review her Mike Flynn files. Trump fires her the same day.

Feb. 4, 2017: Trump defends Putin in an interview with Fox News, saying, "I do respect him," and, when pressed on allegations that Putin has been behind certain atrocities, Trump responds: "What, you think our country's so innocent?"

Feb. 9, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Flynn did, in fact, discuss U.S. sanctions in his phone calls with Sergey Kislyak, contrary to Flynn's and the administration's previous statements.

Feb. 13, 2017: Flynn resigns. He acknowledges that he misled Pence and others in the administration about his conversations with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.

Feb. 14, 2017: The New York Times reports that "members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials." On Valentine's Day, Trump privately meets with FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office and tries to woo him. Comey says that the president brought up the FBI investigation of Flynn. "He then said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.'"

March 1, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions did speak with the Russian ambassador during the campaign, contradicting his past statements. The following day Sessions announces he will recuse himself from any investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

March 4, 2017: Roger Stone tweets that he "never denied perfectly legal backchannel to Assange who indeed had the goods on #CrookedHillary." Stone later deletes the tweet.

March 2017: Mike Flynn, who had been Trump's choice for national security adviser over President Obama's warnings, retroactively registers as a foreign agent.

April 13, 2017: In his first public speech as CIA director, Mike Pompeo excoriated WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange: "We at the CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be perplexing and deeply troubling," he said. "WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service." Pompeo also cited WikiLeaks' "overwhelming" focus on the United States. But apparently Mike Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone were anxious to work with hostile foreign intelligence services even as they attacked the US.

May 9, 2017: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey, at a time when Comey is doing his duty by trying to protect American democracy from attacks by Russia. Steve Bannon would later call the Comey firing the worst decision in the history of American politics.

May 10, 2017: Trump meets with Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak at the Oval Office and reportedly divulges classified national security information to them during the course of the meeting.

May 11, 2017: Trump tells NBC's Lester Holt of his decision to fire Comey: "When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won."

May 17, 2017: Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

July 6, 2017: Trump arrives at the G20 summit at Hamburg, Germany.

July 7, 2017: The New York Times contacts the White House with a major breaking story—that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower—just as Trump is about to meet Putin. Later that day, at dinner, Trump was caught on video flashing hand signs at Putin that seemed to mean: "You, me, together!" Trump was apparently seeking to set up a second, secret, meeting with Putin. This meeting would be attended only by Trump, Putin and Putin's interpreter. Trump did not inform American officials of this second meeting with Putin.

July 8, 2017: The New York Times breaks the story about Donald Trump Jr.'s Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer in June 2016. Trump Jr. provided the Times with a statement that the meeting was about an adoption program. It is later revealed by the Washington Post that Trump Sr. himself dictated the statement while flying home on Air Force One from the G20 meeting. Was the adoption ruse suggested by Putin during the previous day's secret meeting?

July 11, 2017: The New York Times reports that the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting was to get "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

June 27, 2017: Paul Manafort finally files to retroactively be recognized as a foreign agent.

July 25, 2017: Manafort testifies behind closed doors to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

July 26, 2017: FBI agents raid Manafort's home, collecting evidence.

July 31, 2017: The Washington Post reveals that Trump Sr. dictated Trump Jr.'s misleading statement about Russian adoptions.

Oct. 4, 2017: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly calls Trump "a fucking moron," as reported by The New Yorker.

Oct. 27, 2017: Trump tweets: "Congratulations to @SpeakerRyan, @GOPLeader, @SteveScalise and to the Republican Party on Budget passage yesterday." The federal budget deficit for Trump's first fiscal year was $666 billion, as reported by Fox and other sources. The Julian Date calculator confirms that a Julian date of 6666 translates to Oct. 27, 2017, the date of Trump's tweet.

Oct. 30, 2017: The Papadopoulos plea deal is made public. Paul Manafort and a fellow former campaign aide, Rick Gates, turn themselves into the FBI after being indicted on 12 counts. The charges against Manafort and Gates include conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as unregistered agents of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and multiple counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. The indictment alleges Manafort and Gates acted as agents for pro-Russian parties and elements of the Ukrainian government.

Nov. 13, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. confirms on Twitter that he had private conversations with WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign after the Atlantic publishes leaked excerpts.

Dec. 1, 2017: Mike Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his Dec. 2016 conversations with the Russian ambassador.


Jan. 12, 2018: The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to porn star Stephanie Clifford – better known as Stormy Daniels – ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump.

Jan. 13, 2018: Cohen told The New York Times that he made the Stormy Daniels payment himself. His unlikely explanation was that he used his home equity line of credit to make the payment out of friendship. Usually it's the client mortgaging his/her home to pay the lawyer. Trump would later tell reporters onboard Air Force One that he didn't know about the payment to Daniels. "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You'll have to ask Michael," Trump said.

Jan. 18, 2018: Axios reports that Steve Bannon informed the House Intelligence Committee that he did have a discussion with Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, and Mark Corallo about the June 2016 Veselnitskaya meeting at the Trump Tower.

Jan. 18, 2018: The House Intelligence Committee releases the transcript of the Glenn Simpson testimony given on Nov. 14, 2017. Adam Schiff says the testimony contains "serious allegations that the Trump Organization may have engaged in money laundering with Russian nationals."

Feb. 22, 2018 : Mueller brings a new 32-count indictment against Manafort and Gates for tax and bank fraud and money laundering, among other charges.

Feb. 23, 2018: Rick Gates immediately capitulates and agrees to cooperate with Mueller's probe. Gates pleads guilty to multiple counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false statements. Muller then files additional charges against Manafort with allegations of money laundering, bank fraud and sponsoring foreign lobbyists without the required disclosures.

Feb. 27, 2018: In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Hope Hicks admits that she has told "white lies" for Trump; she resigns from the White House a day later.

March 13, 2018: Trump tweets that he is firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Later, Tillerson would reveal that he was stunned at Trump's seeming lack of knowledge about not only basic geopolitics but the rule of law: "So often, the President would say, 'Here's what I want to do and here's how I want to do it,' and I would have to say to him, 'Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law.'"

April 9, 2018: Federal agents raid Cohen's home, hotel room and office in New York, acquiring 1.3 million pieces of potential evidence, including recordings of conversations between Cohen and Trump.

May 2, 2018: Trump hires former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as his personal attorney.

June 4, 2018: Government attorneys file a motion to revoke Paul Manafort's bail on grounds he used his freedom to attempt to illegally influence witnesses. The government now seeks incarceration.

June 8, 2018: Mueller issues a superseding indictment against Manafort, adding the name of Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik. Manafort and Kilimnik are accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States, FARA reporting violations, money laundering and tax evasion. The new indictment also charges Manafort and Kilimnik with obstruction of justice via witness tampering.

June 14, 2018: New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood files a civil suit against President Donald Trump and his three eldest children, Donald, Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, alleging "persistently illegal conduct" and accusing them of engaging in campaign finance violations, using foundation money in their self-interest ("self-dealing"), treating the foundation as a "personal checkbook," and illegally coordinating donations with Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Underwood ordered the charity dissolved and demanded $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.

July 15, 2018: "Red Sparrow" Maria Butina is arrested and charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government, specifically the Russian Federation.

July 30, 2018: Rudy Giuliani tells Fox & Friends that "collusion is not a crime," even when the collusion is with a hostile foreign power that has been relentlessly attacking the United States via hackers, and undermining its most democratic foundation: the vote.

Aug. 21, 2018: Cohen pleads guilty to eight felony counts in a New York courtroom, including two in which he implicates Trump in campaign finance violations. Cohen said he paid off Daniels and McDougal to silence them before the 2016 election at Trump's "direction," and admitted that the payments were illegal.

Aug. 22, 2018: Trump finally admitted in an interview with Fox & Friends that the money paid to Daniels and McDougal "came from me."

Sept. 11, 2018: Bob Woodward's book Fear: Trump in the White House is released on the anniversary of 9-11. The book tell us that "Trump does not listen. He does not read. He is impossible to brief. He has no extended focus. He is immovable on almost all issues."

Sept. 19, 2018: Trump calls the FBI "a cancer in our country."

Nov. 7, 2018: Jeff Sessions resigns as US Attorney General. Trump announces that the Acting Attorney General will be Matthew Whitaker, a low-ranking former U.S. Attorney whose previous company is under FBI investigation for fraudulent legal services, according to the Wall Street Journal. It is widely believed that Whitaker will try to shield Trump from the Robert Mueller investigation.

Nov. 29-30, 2018: CNN and other major sources report that Deutsche Bank's headquarters and other locations in Frankfurt were raided by 170 police officers and tax investigators as part of a giant money laundering probe.

Dec. 8, 2018: According to Jeremy Bash, a former CIA chief of staff, the Trump administration has produced "the most pro-Russian foreign policy coming out of Washington in our history."

Dec. 12, 2018: Michael Cohen is sentenced to three years in prison. At the hearing Cohen said his "blind loyalty" to Trump drove him to cover up the president's "dirty deeds."

Dec. 13, 2018: Maria Butina aka "Red Sparrow" pleads guilty Thursday to conspiring with a senior Russian official—her handler Alexander Torshin—to infiltrate the conservative movement in the United States as an agent for the Kremlin from 2015 until her arrest in July 2018.

Dec. 13, 2018: According to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation of possible financial irregularities related to Donald Trump's inauguration fundraising and spending. A staggering $107 million was donated, but around $30 million is unaccounted for, and other spending seems questionable. There are also questions about influence peddling and donations by foreigners — both illegal. According to Andrew Prokop there are "many, many red flags."

Dec. 13, 2018: "Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed … This was not a big crime," Rudy Giuliani told The Daily Beast, finally admitting that a crime had been committed in the hush money payoffs. But rigging the 2016 presidential election was not a "big crime"!

Dec. 13, 2018: It is revealed that Donald Trump was the "third man in the room" along with Michael Cohen and David Pecker when the plot was hatched to pay 130K to porn star Stormy Daniels and 150K to Playboy bunny Karen McDougal. This "hush money" was designed to buy their silence on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.

Dec. 17, 2018: A few days after a defiant Trump chose to publicly "own" a government shutdown, saying he would be "proud" to do so, he caved. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump won't shut down the government over his imaginary wall, after all. Are we tired of Trump always "winning" yet?

Dec. 17, 2018: According to the Washington Post: "President Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled personal charity and to give away its remaining money amid allegations that he used the foundation for his personal and political benefit." New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said that the Donald J. Trump Foundation is dissolving as her office pursues its lawsuit against the charity, Trump and his three eldest children. The suit accuses the Trumps of "persistently illegal conduct" at the foundation, which Trump began in 1987.

Dec. 19, 2018: Two weeks ago, Special Envoy Brett McGurk had said the end of ISIS would be a long-term initiative, and "nobody is declaring mission accomplished." But then Trump did declare "mission accomplished" and stunned the Pentagon, senators and congressmen by tweeting an immediate recall of American forces from Syria. Once again vodka glasses were tinkling in the Kremlin, as Trump once again did exactly as Mr. Putin desired (or commanded).

Dec. 19, 2018: CNN produces the letter of intent Donald Trump signed on Oct. 28, 2015 to proceed with the Moscow Project. Trump's distinctive signature is plain to see.

Dec. 19, 2018: In a late-night Senate speech, Lindsey Graham rails against Trump's decision to immediately and unilaterally withdraw all American forces from Syria, calling the decision "disastrous" and a "stain on the honor" of the US. Graham said the president's claim that ISIS had been defeated was "fake news." Graham said he'd just gotten back from a trip to the Middle East and knew for a fact that it was "inaccurate."

Dec. 20, 2018: Following Trump's decision to unilaterally pull out of Syria and tweet information about American troop deployments to the whole world, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned.

Dec. 21, 2018: Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS, tendered his resignation on Friday, according to senior administration officials. According to an email he sent his staff, McGurk decided to resign immediately after Trump chose not heed his military advisers and blindsided America's allies in the region by abruptly ordering the withdrawal of American troops stationed in Syria.

Dec. 21, 2018: According to The Week, Trump decided to withdraw troops from Syria "hastily" during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, doing so "without warning his advisers" and despite "strong objections from virtually everyone involved." During the call Erdogan pressed Trump about why the U.S. was still in Syria, and Trump "quickly capitulated" and said he would withdraw, leaving both Erdogan and National Security Adviser John Bolton "stunned." The phone call took place on Dec. 14; in the days that followed, Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pomepo all desperately tried to convince Trump to change his mind or at least delay the withdrawal. But Trump persisted and that apparently led to Mattis's resignation.

Dec. 24, 2018: On Christmas Eve, Eugene Robinson writes: "Much of the government is shut down over symbolic funding for an insignificant portion of a useless border wall that President Trump said Mexico would pay for.

Dec. 25, 2018: Just in time for Christmas, the Washington Post reports that Trump has gifted Americans with 7,546 false or misleading claims!

Dec. 31, 2018: The Week observes that half of Trump's top campaign officials are either under investigation, have turned state's evidence, or are actually in prison.

Jan. 1, 2019: Mitt Romney, who is about to be sworn into the US Senate, says Trump's actions "over the past two years" and "particularly his actions this month" are evidence that he "has not risen to the mantle of the office."

Jan. 3, 2019: David Ignatius says "Trump's Syria withdrawal snatches defeat from the jaws of victory."

Jan. 3, 2019: Retired four-star Admiral James Stavridis wrote a scathing TIME opinion column in which he blasted Trump for seeing generals as macho, Rambo-like cartoon figures.

Jan. 12, 2019: According to The Moscow Project, the Trump campaign had 101 contacts with Russia-linked operatives, and at least 28 meetings.

Jan. 13, 2019: The Washington Post reports that Trump "went to extraordinary lengths" to hide all records of communications between Putin and Trump, even taking possession of interpreter Marina Gross' notes after a meeting with Putin in Hamburg and instructing her not to reveal the contents of the discussion to anyone, not even senior White House officials. Trump's behavior around Putin has been "increasingly suspicious" and no one has any idea what promises he has "made in the shade."

Jan. 14, 2019: David Laufman, a former DOJ Counterintelligence chief, said the news that Trump kept what he said private from even his top aides was "positively chilling," that Trump showed "unbelievable acquiescence" to Putin, and that Trump is a "clear and present danger" to the United States without "historical precedent" in regard to the office of the presidency. Laufman also said that a counterintelligence investigation of the president would be like "walking on a million eggshells."

Jan. 15, 2019: Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Trump "privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."

Jan. 16, 2019: Chris Christie writes that Trump has a "revolving door of deeply flawed individuals amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia."

Jan. 19, 2019: Gary Kasparov tells Chuck Todd of Meet The Press Daily that "All Trump's big decisions are somehow connected to Putin's interests and always help Putin to reach his geopolitical goals."

Jan. 25, 2019: Roger Stone is arrested on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering, according to the special counsel’s office.

Jan. 30, 2019: Vodka glasses tinkle merrily in the Kremlin as Trump disparages Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and American intelligence agencies in general. Later, Trump rage-tweets: "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!" Trump concluded his tweets with: "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!"

Feb. 1, 2019: Joe Cirincione, a nuclear weapons policy expert, says Trump helped fill out Putin's bucket list when he withdrew the U.S. from Ronald Reagan's landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

Feb. 15, 2019: According to the editorial board of The New York Times: "Trump takes executive overreach to dizzying new heights. The damage to American democracy threatens to linger long after his administration is no more than a dank memory."

Feb. 19, 2019: One excerpt from former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe’s new book The Threat that hasn’t gotten much coverage is a revealing Trump quote about Venezuela. McCabe described a 2017 meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office. “That’s the country we should be going to war with, Trump said, speaking of Venezuela. They have all that oil, and they’re right at our back door.” According to McCabe, “He continued on, rambling and spitballing about whatever came to mind.” McCable's account rings true because Trump had previously advocated using the American military to rob Middle Eastern countries of their oil.

NOTE: I do not claim most of the information here is highly original. Sources used include Fox News, Breitbart, TIME, Newsweek, Newsmax, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, CNN, The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair and Politico, among others.

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