The Matryoshka

UPDATE 8/3/2017 – Adding names to the web as news breaks has been.. challenging.  We have decided the most feasible way of doing update this piece is to write an addendum at the bottom, building individual webs as names come out.  Wilbur Ross, Roman Abramovich, and JD Gordon have now been added at the end of this piece.

This is merely a consolidation of other’s investigative work.  All credit to @Khanoisseur, @20committee, @Funder, @LouiseMensch, @pwnallthethings, the infamous Jester, and James S Henry.

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A matryoshka doll ,  also known as a Russian nesting doll, or Russian doll, is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another.

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized in an eponymous 1990 play written by John Guare.

When attempting to navigate the web of Donald Trump’s business dealings and relationships with the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian mafia, however, a cast of questionable players is never more than 2 degrees of separation away from him or the Trump Organization. As we’ve covered extensively in previous posts, there is no doubt that Trump is financially beholden to Russian influence, which makes allegations surrounding his potential treason against the United States even more worrisome. Considering all link analysis here has been done using news media sources, one might question just how deep the rabbit hole goes using classified sources the US Intelligence Community is investigating currently.

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This write-up will display the entire matryoshka as it is known publicly, along with dossiers of each player or organization within the web. Visualizations of each entity will accompany each dossier along with its individual links, as to increment the web in such a way that the reader can understand the sum of its parts. Within these sub-visualizations, we will limit degrees of separation to one link each for the sake of readability. Be aware that further links past that degree exist and can be viewed in the top-level view (i.e. Paul Manafort’s tie to Dmytro Firtash, who ties to Simeon Mogilavech, is not seen on Trump’s visualization, but the relationships by proxy should not be discounted).

Moving forward, this will be considered a living write-up. As more leaks break to the media, it will be updated further with the dossiers of new players, their connections to Trump and/or the Kremlin, and analysis of the degrees of separation between the two. With that said, there are a few “loose ends” within the link analysis that have not yet been pursued (i.e. Yuri Milner overpaying Kushner $50M above asking price for a property, and Steve Bannon with seemingly no ties to anyone). These will be fleshed out or removed as more information is gathered. We’ve also only included dossiers for players with more than 2 links. Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon are the two most notable exclusions, but their subsequent links will be covered within the dossiers of players that are included.

We understand this is an extremely dense and complex data-set. Layers of complexity allow a biased or malicious actor to insert inaccuracies with the intent of pushing a narrative. This analysis will only use sourced links, with at least one news-media source per connection.

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This is the web thus far, in all its complicated glory. To be honest, the best way to parse this is likely to download it and zoom into each individual link. It is far too complex to be human readable in its current form. A few hierarchical notes:

Entities marked blue: American business or USG entities

Entities marked red: Russian business or Kremlin entities

Entities marked purple: Russian mafia or alleged Russian mafia entities

Entities marked yellow: “Neutral” parties that do not fit the above

Lines marked blue: Direct reporting or chain of command relationships

Lines marked orange: Business relationships or partnerships

Lines marked yellow: Non-business or organizational relationships

Lines marked red: Illegal relationships

Solid lines: Source confirmed

Dashed lines: Source alleged

Dot-dashed lines: Reserved for killed, murdered, or “found dead”

Below is a visualization that separates each entity into its respected “camp”. One important note: The lines between Russian government/legitimate business and Russian mafia get blurry very quickly. This is our best attempt to maintain dividing lines based on current sourcing.

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Still a little much. For this reason, and for source integrity, we have prepared a short dossier of each player along with sourced links for every relationship. We’ll start with the man of the hour:

Americans

Donald J Trump

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Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States.

Born and raised in JamaicaQueensNew York City, Trump received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, he took charge of his family‘s real estate and construction firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which was later renamed The Trump Organization. During his business career, Trump built, renovated, and managed numerous office towers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. He has lent the use of his name in the branding of various products. He owned the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1996 to 2015, and from 2004 to 2015, he hosted The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC. As of 2016, Forbes listed him as the 324th wealthiest person in the world and 113th richest in the United States, with a net worth of $4.5 billion.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Neutral Parties

The Trump Organization

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The Trump Organization is an American privately owned international conglomerate based in Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It comprises the business ventures and investments of Donald Trump. From 1971 to 2017, Trump ran the company as chairman and president. After being elected U.S. president, Trump announced that his two oldest sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump (both longtime company executive vice presidents), along with longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg, have taken over the management of the company, serving as trustees for the duration of Trump’s presidency. Although he is no longer involved with its day-to-day management, the company remains under Trump’s ownership.

Note: There are obviously many duplicated connections between Trump and the Trump Organization. Some of these connections are copy/pasted for posterity.

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Paul Manafort

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Paul John Manafort Jr.(born Apri l 1, 1949) is an American lobbyist and political consultant.

Manafort is best known for his lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych as well as world leaders such as Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko and guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi.  He was an adviser to the U.S. presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald FordRonald ReaganGeorge H. W. BushBob Dole, and was the national chairman of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, as well as being a senior partner in the firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman. It was confirmed in The New York Times on the eve of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration that Manafort is under active investigation by the CIANSAFBIODNI and FinCEN

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Carter Page

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Carter Page (born 1971 or 1972) is an American oil industry consultant. Donald Trump named him as a foreign policy advisor to his presidential campaign, which campaign staffers later denied. Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a New York investment fund and consulting firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Richard Burt

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Richard R. Burt (born February 3, 1947) is an American businessman and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Germany and was a chief negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Prior to his diplomatic career, Burt worked as director of a non-governmental organization and was a correspondent for the New York Times.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Jared Kushner

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Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American real estate investor and developer, publisher, and senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. Together with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, he forms Trump’s leadership team. Kushner is said to be President Trump’s most trusted advisor, showing “unwavering loyalty” to his father-in-law

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Neutral Parties

Mike Flynn

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Michael Thomas “Mike” Flynn (born December 1958) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who was the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  Flynn served as the 25th National Security Advisor from January 20, 2017, to February 13, 2017, when he resigned at the behest of the President after misleading key officials about the nature of his telecommunications with Russian diplomats. Flynn’s tenure of just 24 days as National Security Advisor is the shortest in the history of the office

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Rex Tillerson

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Rex Wayne Tillerson (born March 23, 1952) is an American energy executive, civil engineer, and diplomat who is the 69th and current United States Secretary of State, serving since his confirmation on February 1, 2017.  Tillerson joined ExxonMobil in 1975 as an engineer and served as the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company from 2006 to 2016.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Michael Cohen

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Michael Dean Cohen (born 1966/67) is the personal lawyer to US President Donald Trump.  Prior to this appointment he was Executive Vice-President of The Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump. Cohen also previously served as co-president of Trump Entertainment and a member of the board of the Eric Trump Foundation, a children’s health charity.  He joined the Trump Organization after having been a partner at Phillips Nizer.

Americans

Russians

Russian Gov/Business

Vladimir Putin

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Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician who is the current President of the Russian Federationholding the office since 7 May 2012.He was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, and again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.  During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the Chairman of the United Russia Party, the ruling party.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Neutral Parties

Igor Sechin

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Igor Ivanovich Sechin (born 7 September 1960 in LeningradSoviet Union) is a Russian official, considered a close ally and “de facto deputy” of Vladimir Putin.[2] Sechin is often described as one of Putin’s most conservative counselors and the leader of the Kremlin’s Siloviki faction, a lobby gathering former security services agents.[3] Until 21 May 2012, he served as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Vladimir Putin‘s cabinet and he is currently the Executive Chairman of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company.

Americans

Russians

Lev Leviev

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Lev Leviev (born July 30, 1956) is an Israeli businessman, philanthropist and investor, of Uzbek Bukhari Jewish background, Known as the “King of Diamonds”. Lev Leviev has a net worth of $1.1 billion as of September 2016, he has been a major philanthropist for Hasidic Jewish causes in Eastern Europe and Israel. Beginning in the 1990s, Leviev avoided being directly involved with the Yeltsin family, and nurtured ties with Vladimir Putin. His diamond mining investments in Angola and his investments in Israeli settlements have been the target of protests

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Dmytro Firtash

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Dmytro Vasylovych Firtash (born 2 May 1965) is a Ukrainian businessman, investor and philanthropist. He is head of the board of directors of Group DF. He was highly influential during the Yuschenko administration, he was President of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine (FEU), He was Chairman of the National Tripartite Social and Economic Council (NTSEC), He was Co-Chairman of Domestic and Foreign Investors Advisory Council under the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine, and was a member of the Committee for Economic Reforms under the President of Ukraine. He is currently being extradited to the US for bribery and other charges.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

GazProm

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Gazprom is a large Russian company founded in 1989, which carries on the business of extraction, production, transport, and sale of natural gas. The company name is a portmanteau of the Russian words Gazovaya Promyshlennost (Russianгазовая промышленность – gas industry). The headquarters of Gazprom are in Moscow.

Americans

Russians

Viktor Yanukovych

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Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych (born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from February 2010 until his removal from power in February 2014. He is currently in exile in Russia and wanted by Ukraine for high treason.

Americans

Russians

Andreii (Andrey) Artemenko

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Andriy Viktorovych Artemenko (born 14 January 1969) is a Ukrainian politician, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the 8th convocation of Verkhovna Rada and chairman of the “Solidarity of Right Forces” party.

Americans

Russians

Russian Mafia

Felix Sater

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Felix Henry Sater (born Haim Felix Sater; March 2, 1966) is a Russian-born American real estate developer and managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City, New York. Sater has been an advisor to many corporations, including The Trump Organization, Rixos Hotels and Resorts, Sembol Construction, Potok (formerly the Mirax Group), and TxOil.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Simeon Mogilevech

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Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich (born June 30, 1946) is a Ukrainian-born, alleged Russian organized crime boss, believed by European and United States federal law enforcement agencies to be the “boss of bosses” of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world.  Mogilevich is believed to direct a vast criminal empire and is described by the FBI as “the most dangerous mobster in the world.”  He has been accused by the FBI of “weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.” He lives freely in Moscow, and has three children. He is most closely associated with the Solntsevskaya Bratva crime group. Political figures he has close alliances with include Yury Luzhkov, the former Mayor of Moscow, Dmytro Firtash and Leonid Derkach, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine.   Oleksandr Turchynov, who was designated as acting President of Ukraine in February 2014, appeared in court in 2010 for allegedly destroying files pertaining to Mogilevich.  Shortly before his death, Alexander Litvinenko claimed that Mogilevich has allegedly had a “good relationship” with Vladimir Putin since the 1990s.

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Rotem Rosen

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Rotem Rosen is an Israeli born New York real estate mogul, director of ASRR Capital and an executive member of the Sapir Organization since 2010. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of AFI USA from 2005 to 2009. Rosen is known as the “right hand man” of real estate magnate Lev Leviev. In 2007, he married fellow real estate heavyweight, Zina Sapir, daughter of Tamir Sapir, founder of the Sapir Organization. While the majority of Rosen’s real estate portfolio consists of property in New York, such as former Morgans Hotel Group’s Mondrian Soho, ASRR Capital purchased its first Miami office building in October 2015 for $13.3 million.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Tamir Sapir

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Tamir Sapir  1946/1947 – September 26, 2014) was an American businessman and investor from the former Soviet republic of Georgia who made millions bartering fertilizer and oil with the Soviets in the 1980s; he took most of his money and put it into New York real-estate. He was included in The 400 Richest Americans List of September 2008 (#246), with a net worth of $1.9 billion. In March 2010, he ranked 721st on Forbes’ list of billionaires, with a net worth of $1.4 billion.

Americans

Russian Gov/Business

Russian Mafia

Tevfik Arik

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Tevfik Arik is a Kazakh businessman, former Soviet official, and former president of Bayrock Group. Arif was arrested in a raid on the historic “Savarona” yacht along with “Russian, Kyrgyz and Kazakh businessmen and high-level government officials,” according to Bloomberg, for running an underage prostitution ring.

Americans

Russians

Alex Shnaider

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Alex Shnaider (born 1968) is a Russian-born Israeli-Canadian entrepreneur and former commodities trader. He is co-founder with Eduard Shifrin of the Midland Group.

Americans

Russians

Anatoly Golubchik

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Anatoly Golubchik is a known Russian mobster that was arrested in 2013 for racketeering, extortion, and running an illegal gambling ring out of Trump Tower. 34 other conspirators were also arrested. He is allegedly tied to the Mogevilech crime family.

Americans

Russians

Alimzhan Toktakhunov

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Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov (b. 1 January 1949 in Tashkent) is a Russian businessman, suspected criminal, and former sportsman. He is accused in relations with organized crime and bribing of figure skating judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics.  His nickname is thought to be “Taiwanchik,” which refers to his distinctly Asiatic as opposed to European facial features.

Americans

Russians

Vyacheslav Ivankov

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Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov (January 2, 1940 – October 9, 2009) was a notorious member of the Russian Mafia who was believed to have connections with Russian state intelligence organizations and their organized crime partners.  He has operated in both the Soviet Union and the United States. His nickname, “Yaponchik” (Япончик) translates from Russian as “Little Japanese”, due to his faintly Mongoloid facial features. He was assassinated in Moscow in 2009.

Americans

Russians

David Bogatin

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David Bogatin is a Russian businessman and member of the Mogevilech crime family. In 1992, he was extradited to the US from Poland and stood trial for federal racketeering and tax fraud. He was sentenced to 8 years.

Americans

Russians

FL Group

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Stodir (IcelandicStoðir, FL Group prior to 4 June 2008) is an international investment company, headquartered in ReykjavíkIceland with offices in London. The company was founded on July 20, 1973, under the name Flugleiðir. It was formed as a holding company for Loftleiðir and Air Iceland. Stodir was best known for its subsidiary Icelandair Group, which was sold in October 2006. IcelandairLoftleidir Icelandic and other companies of Icelandair Group have been leaders in the Icelandic flight and tourism industry for about 70 years. The company was placed into administration in September 2008 after Glitnir, its largest investment, was part-nationalised by the Icelandic government.

In 2007 Bayrock struck a deal with FL Group, an Icelandic company that had agreed to invest $50 million in four of Bayrock’s subsidiary partnerships. However, the deal was later relabeled as a loan. In New York, the sale of a stake in a partnership would make the existing partners liable to pay more than 40 per cent in tax on their ‘gain’, based on the highest tax rate. However, if the investment is classified as a loan no tax would be payable. Former employees of Bayrock have alleged in a case against the company that the deal was intended to fraudulently evade some $20 million in tax through a disguised sale of partnership interests.

Americans

Russians

Follow-up data analysis:

The Mogilevech Connection

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Donald Trump is connected to Russian mob boss Simeon Mogilavech via 9 different paths, never more than 3 degrees of separation away through business or family ties. Assuming Litivenko and Ukrainian Intelligence are right, that is 9 different paths to Putin by way of Mogilavech.

The Trump-Putin Affair

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Filtering out some of the extraneous noise, we can look at exactly how Putin and Trump can communicate through proxies on each of their respective sides. Trump has 11 outgoing ties through American or Russian business partnerships that directly can directly path to Putin via his 17 outgoing connections via 15 Russian government, intelligence, or mafia relationships.

The Inner Circle

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Just looking at Trump’s advisors, 20 separate connections exist to Russian interests, the oligarchy, the mafia, or the outfits linked to the aforementioned. This filters out the eventual ties to Putin, Trump, or Mogilevech.


In conclusion, the web is large and complicated. It is easy to get lost in the matryoshka. What is plain to see, however, is that this is an extremely large mass of questionable contacts and relationships. It is highly unlikely that the Russian state was not involved in Trump affairs at some point during the last two decades. An investigation needs to happen as soon as possible.

 

POSTSCRIPT – More Names:

 

AMERICAN Wilbur Ross

 

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Wilbur Louis Ross Jr., born in Weehawken, NJ on November 28th 1937, is the current US Secretary of Commerce. After graduating from Yale in 1959, Mr. Ross went onto obtain an M.B.A from Harvard in 1961 and then served a 2 year tour in the US Army Adjunct General Corps.

Upon leaving the Army, Mr. Ross began his career in private industry where he held multiple executive roles and board positions across a variety of companies. Of recent interest in his role as the Director/Vice Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus from 11.2014 until 3.2017. The cause for public interest in this bank is already documented in a well sourced article at DCReport.

Americans

Russians

 

AMERICAN JD Gordon

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Jeffrey D. “J.D.” Gordon is an American communications and foreign policy advisor, who served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005–2009. Gordon is a retired United States Navy officer who has served as a senior advisor to Republican political figures and at conservative Washington, DC-based think tanks. Gordon is also a contributing columnist to Fox News, The Daily Caller, The Hill, The Washington Times and other media outlets. Gordon founded Protect America Today, a national security-themed Super PAC in February 2012.

Previously, he served as a spokesman for the Navy and Department of Defense, retiring as a Commander. He managed communications and press relations in a wide variety of locations over a 20-year career, including posts in Europe, Latin America and Asia. His final assignment in the military was at the Pentagon, serving under Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates.

Americans

Russians

Russian – Roman Abramovich

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Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich (born 24 October 1966) is a Russian billionaire businessman, investor, and politician.  Abramovich is the primary owner of the private investment company, Millhouse LLC. Abramovich is best known outside Russia as the owner of Chelsea Football Club, a Premier League football club.

Abramovich was the first person to originally recommend to Yeltsin that Vladimir Putin be his successor as the Russian president.  When Putin formed his first cabinet as Prime Minister in 1999, Abramovich interviewed each of the candidates for cabinet positions before they were approved. Subsequently, Abramovich would remain one of Putin’s closest confidants. In 2007 Putin consulted in meetings with Abramovich on the question of who should be his successor as president – Medvedev was personally recommended by Abramovich.

Chris Hutchins, a biographer of Putin, describes the relationship between the Russian president and Abramovich as like that between a father and a favorite son. Abramovich himself says that when he addresses Putin he uses the Russian language’s formal “Вы” (like Spanish “usted”, German “Sie” or French “vous”), as opposed to the informal “ты” (Spanish “tú”, German “du” or French “tu”). Abramovich says that the reason is because ‘he is more senior than me’.  Within the Kremlin, Abramovich is referred to as “Mr A”

Americans

Russians

 

17 thoughts on “The Matryoshka

  1. OMG! In the future we need new laws to ensure that all Presidential Candidates are throughly vetted, for competence, intelligence, and evaluated for mental illnesses and personality disorders. But before that, they should need to be vetted and pass an FBI/CIA Security Clearance. There is no way Trump could ever pass a standard security clearance! And we need a law to make sure that anyone who wants to be President of the USA divest all of their holdings and businesses into an independent blind trust! And of course there are the tax returns, all candidates tax returns for 20+ years must be revealed to the public. With all of these Russian interconnections, Trump appears to be a significant Russian Asset, and that various Russian entities have heavily invested in Him and His family. The layers and depth of this Matryoshka Conspiracy Scandal is just unimaginable for the non-oligarch mind to comprehend. I suppose this is normal and status quo for them? How else can anyone hoard billions of dollars without being criminal! Wow! Thank-you for doing all of this work, I hope the independent investigations will further illuminate the extent and nature of this Trump-Russia corruption.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Are the meetings between Jeff Sessions and Sergey Kislyak that Sessions lied about, or Jared Kushners and Kislyak at Trump tower significant in any way? I ask, because I don’t see these connections mentioned on the page anywhere.

        Like

  2. This is a tremendous work of research. The effort that went into the graphics alone must have been immense and painstaking. I don’t suppose you have a bibliography? It would be very useful to see all the sources without having to click on every link. Thanks for the effort you’ve gone to.

    Like

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