TRUMP – RUSSIA – FELIX SATER + BAYROCK GROUP

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The above photo shows from left-to-right — Donald Trump — Tevfik Arif — Felix Sater — 2007

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The “Narrative” Below Has Been “Gathered” From The Following Sources:   Michael D’Antonio — Trump Biographer — AND — Rachel Maddow/MSNBC — AND — Bloomberg News/Timothy L. O’Brien

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The ONLY way that he (Trump) was able to finance his resurrection — from his bankruptcies AFTER 2000 — was the TORRENT of money flowing OUT of RUSSIA and the former Soviet Union countries like Kazakhstan, Azerbajan.  The investors that he got at that point were looking for safe havens or opportunities to LAUNDER money that were proceeds that were basically from CRIMINAL enterprises.
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Trump himself denies having any financial connections with Russia.
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So he tweeted out — (1) I have no dealings with Russia — (2) I have no deals in Russia — (3) I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we’ve stayed away — (4) and, I have no loans with Russia.
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The thing to notice when Donald Trump talks about his relationship with Russia is that he always says I have no business in Russia — he doesn’t say that Russians have no business with me.
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As pointed out in a recent MSNBC episode of the Rachel Maddow show — Steve Bannon, the one-time chief strategist for Trump, claimed that money laundering may be the real crime that will ultimately bring the Trump presidency to an END.
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This is where Felix Sater enters into the picture for Donald Trump.  Sater is a very interesting character.  Sater joined Bayrock in the fall of 2002.  Bayrock was located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower.  Trump’s office was located on the 26th floor of that same building.  Felix Sater was a convicted criminal and also a U.S. government informant.  Sater was convicted of stock fraud in 1998 but his sentence was suspended for 11 years as U.S. intelligence sought his services for national security purposes.  Apparently Sater knew where loose stinger anti-aircraft missiles were sold on the black market in Afghanistan — something that was a very high priority in the U.S. defense establishment at the time.  Sater also had extensive ties to the U.S. mafia and the Russian underworld and had contacts within Russian intelligence and military agencies.
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It was Felix Sater himself who initially developed the relationship with Trump.  Sater had made the acquaintance of three Trump Organization executives who then introduced him to their boss.  When the Bayrock team met Trump in 2002, the future president was enduring a long stretch in the financial wilderness, having narrowly escaped personal bankruptcy in the early 1990s.  He eventually emerged from that mess as a pariah among big banks.
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The Bayrock Group + Donald Trump were then to form a decade-long real estate partnership that involved huge infusions of “murky” cash-flows from the Eurasian continent — the Ukraine, Azerbajan & Kazakhstan — as well as inside Mother Russia.  This deluge of money was criminally-tainted money, money that was being laundered out of these Eurasian locations and sent over to the U.S. to be “parked” into real estate.  The Bayrock Group consisted of Felix Sater + Tevfik Arif, who, like Sater, was born in Kazakhstan and in addition was a former Russian government official before the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Tevfik had a brother, Refik.  Between these two, the money to fund Bayrock resided.  From there on in, the money kept flowing in and every time it appeared that Bayrock would shut down the money would manage to come in to keep it open and the lights on.
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It was Arif and Sater who pitched the future president on the idea of launching an international chain of Trump-branded, mixed-use hotels and condominiums.  And Bayrock got to Trump at a time when his “brand” could help get a little extra attention for a condo project, but didn’t amount to much more than that.
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Trump was trying to build his brand and Bayrock was trying to market it.
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Then, “The Apprentice” aired for the first time on Jan. 8, 2004, and became a sensation that vaulted Trump into reality TV stardom. In the real world, Trump’s casinos were faltering.  But on reality TV, Trump posed as a successful leader and dealmaker who embodied a certain kind of entrepreneurial flair and over-the-top billionairedom — an impression that stuck with tens of millions of TV viewers.
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The popularity of “The Apprentice” also gave the Bayrock-Trump partnership added zing.
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That put Bayrock in a great position once the show debuted.  The show did it for Trump.  Nobody was interested in licensing his name before that.”
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The hook at Bayrock, for Trump, was an 18 percent equity stake in what became the Trump Soho hotel, a steady stream of management fees on all Bayrock projects and the ability to plaster his name on properties without having to invest a single dollar of his own.
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It’s not clear how carefully Trump vetted his Bayrock partners.  But his lack of concern about their backgrounds — and the potential risk to his own reputation from dealing with them — was part of a pattern.  In Atlantic City, he had partnered with men with organized crime ties.  Later, he and his children struck deals in Brazil and Azerbaijan with partners who had murky backgrounds or unusual legal entanglements.
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Sater said in court filings that he disclosed his securities fraud conviction to members of the Trump Organization.  He assumed they had told Trump, but he wasn’t sure.
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“It’s not very hard to get connected to Donald if you make it known that you have a lot of money and you want to do deals and you want to put his name on it,” Abe Wallach, who was the future president’s right-hand man at the Trump Organization from 1990 to about 2002, told me in an interview.  “Donald doesn’t do due diligence.  He relies on his gut and whether he thinks you have good genes.”
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This same “Bayrock” real estate development company also received illicit funds from Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former head of a Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank who also embezzled more than $2-BILLION through shady loans to himself via shell companies he created.  He bought 3 condos in Trump Soho through his son-in-law Illyas Khrapunov, who’d had previous deals with Bayrock’s Other “Principal” — Felix Sater, using those illicit funds in an elaborate money-laundering scheme.  Some of the BTA Bank money also apparently went to a fake Trump-branded casino/hotel tower project in the city of Batumi in the former soviet nation of Georgia for which many loans were made.  But the project itself never went forward — yet the loans were never repaid.  Trump himself was paid $1-million for use of his name in 2012 and even made a personal appearance in Batumi.
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A troika of metals billionaires – including Alexander Mashkevich and his 2 partners — Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov — also supplied Bayrock with cash through their holding company – Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Plc, (ENRC) – itself forced off of the European Stock Exchange by England’s Serious Fraud Office due to their “rampant” corruption.  All of this is apparently NOW part of Special Counsel Robert MUELLER’S investigation into money laundering associated with Trump properties.
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So, as one can see, all of this fits a pattern, an extensive one at that, exhibited by the TRUMP ORGANIZATION of coincidentally being on the RECEIVING END of questionable funds.
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