It Was a Very Weird Year…

I’ve been hearing a lot about the year 2013 over the past couple of months.  It made me want to do some research.  But since I’m a lazy bastard, I spent about an hour on the “regular web” and came up with the following.

2013 Involvement with Russia

Donald Trump:

  • Miss Universe pageant hosted in Moscow – Trump paid roughly $14MM (pee tape?)
  • Met Herman Gref, CEO of Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s largest bank
  • FBI wiretapping of suspected Russian money laundering in Trump Tower (Unit 63A, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov)
  • “I do have a relationship” with Putin – Tweet: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?”
  • On 2013 sarin attack in Syria, repeatedly tweeted that Obama should not attack Syria
  • Unit 61L at Trump Tower sells for $14,300,000 (asking price $1.290MM) – other units in the tower were going below asking price
  • Meets Aras Agalarov, Russian real estate developer and recipient of the “Order of Honor of the Russian Federation” (received from Putin)
  • Deutsche Bank, primary lender for Trump when US banks bail on him, investigate Trump’s relationship with Russia, as well as accounts held by Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner (Deutsche Bank was recently fined a total of $10 billion for its role in a Russian money-laundering scheme)

Carter Page:

  • Met with Russian intel operative (Victor Podobnyy) and delivered information to him while Podobnyy was trying to recruit him as a foreign agent
  • Declared an “idiot” by Podobnyy

Boris Epshteyn:

  • Moderated “Invest in Moscow!” panel with Russian officials, aimed at Americans interested in investing in Russia

Roger Stone:

  • Quoted as saying that Trump told him on New Year’s Eve that he was running for president

Jared Kushner:

  • Met with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, president of state-run VEB (Putin’s “slush fund”) and graduate of Russia’s “spy school”, prior to Trump’s inauguration during the transition. Prior to 2013, VEB had a spy ring in its New York City offices, and one of its operatives, Evgeny Buryakov, was deported for his role in the spy ring. Another of those agents was Victor Podobnyy (see Carter Page)

I didn’t mention Paul Manafort because he’s been active in Russian circles for a long time.  This is just a quick search for Trump team involvement with Russia in 2013. I chose that year for two simple reasons: I’ve been hearing it mentioned a lot in the past couple of months, and it makes logical sense that it’s the time Trump would’ve started going public about running for president after Obama’s evisceration of him at the 2011 Correspondent’s Dinner.

Can we agree that 2013 was an active year for the Trump team with regard to Russia?  I now firmly believe that this is part of the reason we haven’t heard more from the FBI on the investigation into the Trump campaign – it feels like things started to coalesce in 2013, and from that point forward there are a lot of moving parts than need to be put together.  Stay tuned.

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