Politics

Trump's Hotel Partner Made Deal With Russian State Bank

| by Sheena Vasani

Some speculate a state-run Russian bank may have helped finance a hotel in Toronto in which President Donald Trump is a partner.

The bank, VEB, reportedly helped former Trump hotel partner Russian-Canadian Alexander Shnaider arrange an asset sale selling a Ukrainian steel concern for $850 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Although the buyer is unknown, sources reveal the individual was "an entity acting for the Russian government."

The timing of the deal raises suspicion. At the time, the Toronto hotel was going through financial difficulties.

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Shortly after the VEB deal, Shnaider funded the hotel with a large sum of money, RawStory reports.

Adding further to speculation is the fact the VEB is known for funding politically important projects.

What's more, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself may have approved the deal. At the time, Putin was the chairman of the bank's supervisory board.

The Trump administration insists it "had no involvement in any financial dealings with VEB" over the project, as it "merely licensed its brand and manages the hotel and residences."

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While the revelations do not confirm Trump directly received money from Russia, it is still raising eyebrows.

"It’s yet another questionable Russian connection for an administration that can ill afford yet more ties to the country," opines Dan Seitz for Uproxx.

Others thought the revelations proved little of substance about Trump and his business dealings.

"I guess he's guilty of incomplete disclosure, but is there any corruption here?" wrote one person on NBC's Joe Scarborough's Facebook post about the incident. "Keep looking."

Some argued it proved nothing at all.

"So a PARTNER developer got a loan through a Russian bank and this is somehow a story?" wrote one woman. "Do you people even know anything about how business works? A Siberian Husky could take a dump in front of Trump Tower and you crazy people would try to connect the dots to some kind of collusion with Russia. I'm not a Trump supporter, but seriously, the Democrats have gone off the rails and that is the reason they lost elections and will again if the lunacy continues."

Others disagreed, saying Trump's banking habits are likely complicated.

"Trump could be using a partner to help launder money," shot back another. "Very wealthy people take advantage of off shore banking in places like Cyprus every day. Why would he be any different? And BTW he has smart people around him so they could be moving money around and he doesn't even know it."

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, RawStory, Uproxx, Joe Scarborough/Facebook / Photo credit: MARIAJONER/Wikimedia Commons

 

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