The phrase “follow the money” is supposed to help explain human behavior, especially in politics. So why has Donald Trump embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin? Why has he denied the evidence of Putin’s killing of Russian journalists and dissidents? A savvy businessman, Trump is certainly not dumb. There must be something else to it.
Reports dating back to 1987, during the time of the old Soviet Union, reveal that Trump has been seeking business in Russia and attempting to build a “Russian Trump Tower” in Moscow and perhaps other Russian cities.
At this particular time in history, with Putin’s cronies under financial sanctions because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin’s praise for Trump may signal another attempt to get the capitalists and their money back into Russia. Such a ploy depends on Trump and others rehabilitating Putin by claiming that he is fighting terrorism in Syria, not bolstering a long-time Soviet/Russian client state. Thanks to the effectiveness of the Russia Today (RT) channel, which saturates the U.S. media market, especially cable television, Putin is indeed looking like a statesman on the world stage.
Trump’s relationship with Russia goes far back. In 1987, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was meeting with Soviet officials and negotiating the building of “luxury hotels” in Moscow and Leningrad. A story at the time said Trump had met Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin, who mentioned how much his daughter had admired the “opulent” Trump Tower in New York City. This led to an invitation to Trump to visit the USSR. The story said Dubinin wrote a letter to Trump, who hosted a meeting with Soviet officials in New York.