Trump told 'a bedtime story' on Mueller wrapping up probe — MSNBC's Geist

Sean Reid
March 17, 2018

SHAPIRO: And on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, The New York Times is reporting that Mueller's team has subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization. It's hard to believe that Trump's business activities have been completely above board, and Mueller is empowered to pursue "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

The investigation and leaked emails have put forth evidence that the governments of Israel and the UAE also tried to gain influence with the Trump administration. Mueller's trying to find what he's looking for, and that might not at all be what you're looking for.

So what exactly is Mueller looking for?

The Trump Organization played down the significance of being subpoenaed, saying it was "old news".

Mueller has a wide mandate.

I know it's risky and, frankly, foolish to apply rational self-interest rules to Donald Trump, but I don't think this subpoena, or more accurately, the leak of the existence of a subpoena that was issued some weeks ago, will lead to Robert Mueller's firing.

The Trump Organization is not publicly held, making it hard to determine where it receives its money and invests it. The third involves the possibility of financial quid pro quos that Trump and his family members (especially his son-in-law, Jared Kushner) may have sought in exchange for public policy favors (like, for example, possibly lifting economic sanctions on Russian Federation or shifting U.S. Ukraine policy). When Trump is asked about whether he has such ties, he tends to say things such as, "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russian Federation". In other words, what kind of leverage did Russian Federation have over Trump? And they nearly certainly have.

Did the real estate deal come to fruition? Deutche Bank was the one financial institution that was still willing to lend to Trump after his many bankruptcies scared other banks away. So he had to find new sources of cash, and he went overseas, especially to the former Soviet Union. "I don't make money from Russia", Trump told the Times during the interview a year ago. The Trump Organization, as far as we know, has been cooperating this whole time. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russian Federation".

I spoke Friday with James Henry, an economist, attorney and journalist with affiliations at Yale and Columbia who has done extensive work on these issues, including investigating some of Trump's finances.

Mueller is also scrutinizing Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant and the $20 million (€16.3 million) fee he collected for doing so. That's true both of the source of funds Trump got to build these projects in the first place, and the people who eventually bought the units. There are so many stories of egregious behavior on his part that you've nearly certainly not heard of them all.

"I am not involved in Russian Federation", he said. Asked whether Putin was behind the nerve gas attack, Trump said this. That certainly looks suspicious - but whether Mueller actually discovers any wrongdoing there may not be known for some time.

"No, I think that's a violation. A bunch of people should go to jail'".

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