A letter from the president’s attorneys says he has no income or loans in Russia—“with a few exceptions”
✔ The named exceptions include:
• $12.2 million in come from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia; and
• $95 million received from the 2008 sale of a Trump mansion in Florida to a Russian billionaire. (The letter does not name him, but the buyer was Dmitry Rybolovlev, a fertilizer magnate who purchased the house for more than twice what Trump had paid for it four years earlier. The mansion had sat on the market, unsold, for two years.)
• Both of those transactions were already known and widely reported in the press.
• In addition, “it is likely that TTO or third-party entities engaged in ordinary course sales of goods to Russian or Russian entities,” including for hotel rooms, golf fees, and various Trump merchandise, though “the amounts are immaterial.”
✔ The figures in the letter are unverifiable.
✔ The letter a does not indicate whether the attorneys reviewed Trump Organization’s returns or whether the company has Russian assets, debts, or other ties.
✔ The letter doesn’t define several key terms. “What it means by Russian person or entity does not seem that it excludes basically shell non-Russian entities.”
✔ Trump or his company could also work with Russians on a concern that was in neither the U.S. nor Russia that might not be covered by the letter. He could also have interests in companies that he and the Trump Organization did not control.
✔ Executives of the Trump Organization have at times in the past said Russia was a major area of business, too.
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