In 2016, Donald Trump conspired with a foreign government to become President of the United States. On July 25, 2019, with the 2020 election around the corner, he decided to do it again.
The first time around, it was collusion, aiding and abetting Russia’s attack on American democracy. The second time, it was extortion, demanding the Ukrainian government manufacture dirt on Trump’s political opponents in exchange for help the country needs to fend off a Russian invasion and chart a democratic future free of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.
To make sense of these recent events that have rocked American politics and led to very real concerns that the President of the United States may be a Russian asset, we need to dig a little deeper.
In Season 1, The Asset dives into Trump’s decades-long history with Russia, from his extensive business dealings with Russian oligarchs to his presidential campaign and the investigations that have sent some of his closest associates to prison.
In Season 2, The Asset explores the backstory to Trump’s infamous phone call with the newly-elected Ukrainian President, where he demanded an investigation into a political opponent and set off a series of events leading to the impeachment inquiry.
Hosted by Max Bergmann, a senior fellow and director of the Moscow Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and featuring expert guests, The Asset will put together the pieces of Trump’s relationship with Russia and Ukrainian extortion campaign.
The Asset is a partnership between the Center for American Progress Action Fund, District Productive, and Protect the Investigation. It is produced by Paul Woodhull, a 20-year veteran media executive and president of Build Better Media, and Peter Ogburn, the executive producer of the Bill Press Show.
Russian Money was pouring out of Russia into the US real estate market and Donald Trump was all about it. We follow the Russian money flowing into the Trump Organization, highlighting the shady cast of characters that surround Donald Trump and his businesses from the suspicious deals in the former Soviet Union, to “little Moscow” where Trump concentrated his properties in Florida, to the story behind Trump’s favorite bank. Trump may not have a lot of money in Russia but Russia sure has money in Donald Trump.
In this episode of The Asset, host Max Bergmann, the director of The Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, shows how Trump changed his business model to tap into the Russian market. Suddenly the Trump Organization wasn’t really in the development business. It was in the real estate licensing business, hiring all sorts of shady brokers to help it tap into the Russian market.
Yet somehow after the worst real estate crisis since the Great Depression, Trump suddenly found himself with loads of unexplained cash. Trump went into the worst real estate market in real trouble and comes out on the other side able to spend absurd amounts of cash on golf courses, as well as having a new line of credit from Deutsche Bank, a bank that had just sued him for defaulting on his loans. This does not add up. Except, in many ways, it does. It just requires factoring in Russia.
The Asset tells the full story of Trump and Russia. Each week, we will examine the colorful characters and dirty deals that populate the story of how Russia helped the son of a shady real estate mogul became President of the United States.