“We Have All the Funding We Need Out of Russia.”

Now, this is quite interesting. In many respects, it simply confirms what Donald Trump Jr. told a group of real estate investors at a conference in 2008: that a ton of the money funding the Trump Organization came from Russia. Here it’s Eric Trump explaining back in 2014 that it didn’t matter that American banks wouldn’t loan Trump money. They had all the money they needed from Russia.

The article is by Bill Littlefield at the website of WBUR, the big public radio station in Boston. The article is an interview with James Dodson, a prolific and well-known writer about the game of golf and an invitation he got from Trump to come spend a day with him at a new golf resort and club he was renovating in North Carolina.

The article itself is interesting if you’re into golf, or Trump or Dodson. On the Trump front, it’s classic Trump. More color but very much the guy we know. Demanding, comical, needy and probably also kind of charming in a weird way in small doses. Give it a read; it’s fun.

In any case, for our purposes it’s the part where Dodson is taking the first 9 holes of the course with Eric Trump and Dodson asks how it is Trump is funding such a major renovation since banks have kept their distance from these kinds of projects since the Great Recession.

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Here’s the exchange.

“Trump was strutting up and down, talking to his new members about how they were part of the greatest club in North Carolina,” Dodson says. “And when I first met him, I asked him how he was — you know, this is the journalist in me — I said, ‘What are you using to pay for these courses?’ And he just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.”

$100 million.

“So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”

For context, we know from copious reporting that it wasn’t just the Great Recession. None of the big US banks have done business with Trump for going on two decades. DeutscheBank is the only big bank that will touch him. And, of course, they’re not even a US bank. The point is, none of it mattered. The Trump’s had the Russia money. That’s all they needed.

It’s worth noting that Russia had invaded and later annexed the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014. Sanctions would come in March. Those certainly put a crimp in the business plans of anyone trading heavily on Russian money, as Trump was. We don’t know when this was in 2014. But in any case it may not have been clear yet, at least not to Eric Trump what impact this would have on the Trump Organization. The lifting of those sanctions and finding a rapprochement with Russia was a major theme of Trump’s entire campaign.

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