Surprise! Donald Trump Had a Relationship With Russia After All.

Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

In the past couple of days we’ve seen several emails showing that during the time Donald Trump was running for president there were internal conversations at the Trump Organization about building a Trump Tower in Moscow. But was Trump himself involved? ABC News says yes:

Four months into his campaign for President of the United States, Donald Trump signed a “letter of intent” to pursue a Trump Tower-style building development in Moscow, according to a statement from the then-Trump Organization chief counsel, Michael Cohen.

….The involvement of then-candidate Trump in a proposed Russian skyscraper deal contradicts repeated statements Trump made during the campaign, including telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that his business had “no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”

Needless to say, this is why so many people were suspicious of Trump’s weasely statements about Russia during the campaign. Does a letter of intent count as a “relationship” with Russia? Or does it only become a relationship if you actually end up signing a deal to do something?

Most of us would say that an LOI does indeed imply a relationship, but to Trump this is all meaningless. It’s not a matter of whether his words are truthful, but whether his words work. Since he won the election, that means his words were the right ones to use. Only losers worry about anything else.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest