Ed. Note: My weekend post on Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Trump – and the worrisome list of financial, policy and personnel connections between them – has been one of if not the most read pieces I’ve ever written for TPM. And there seems to be significant media and reader interest. So I’m republishing it here in toto. I’ll be addressing some critiques, questions and adding some further reporting as the day goes on.
Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin's increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there's quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.
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