Fact check source: The Washington Post
All too soon, in the midst of real news, fake news, and continually developing news stories, we easily forget what actually has come before--as recently as less than a year ago, before the election: July, 2016
Over the course of that last week in July, Trump had disparaged the assertion that Democrats have tried to tie Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin
Trump's opponents within his own party have tried to do the same thing. On that July Monday, George Will, who has repeatedly spoken out against Trump, told Fox News' Bret Baier that he thought Trump was withholding his tax returns "because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs and others."
The following Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted this, (in an effort to draw a clear line between himself and that specific suggestion.) “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia."
The problem was that Donald Trump has in the past had obvious economic interests in Russia. The Washington Post outlined them only a couple of weeks earlier. A quote in that piece came from Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. He made clear how the company in 2008 sought business from wealthy Russians. "In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," he said. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
The year prior, Trump said in a deposition that "Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment," and that he planned to "be in Moscow at some point."
The Washington Post then delineated a number of other known Trump business links to Russia, including:
- A 1987 trip to Moscow, then still part of the Soviet Union, to find a site for a luxury hotel.
- A 1996 effort to build a condominium complex in the country.
- A 2005 push to convert an old pencil factory into another Trump Tower.
- The 2008 sale of a mansion in Palm Beach to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.
- Partnering with Aras Agalarov, the "Trump of Russia," on a project in Moscow in 2013 that didn't come to fruition.
- Hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, when he still owned it, earning a cut of the money spent to lure it there — including some from Agalarov.
And if we dial the Wayback Machine a little further to 2013, Trump tweeted:
“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?”
11:17 PM - 18 Jun 2013
So, Donald, IS IT ALL FAKE NEWS NOW? Is that why you currently need a WAR ROOM??