herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Claim of Russian money link to Trump's Doonbeg golf course

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

US politicians have discussed the possibility that Russian money was funnelled through President Donald Trump's exclusive golf course in Doonbeg.

The US House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of a November closed-door interview with Glenn Simpson, whose firm, Fusion GPS, hired a former British spy to research Mr Trump's campaign ties to Russians.

Fusion is a commercial research and strategic intelligence firm based in Washington, DC.

The House of Representatives panel is conducting one of three congressional investigations into possible collusion between Mr Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

In the course of the questioning, Mr Simpson was asked if he believed there was any Russian money involved with Mr Trump's golf courses in Ireland and Scotland.

"We saw what [Mr Trump's son] Eric Trump said about Russian money being available for his golf - for the golf course projects - making remarks about having unlimited sums available," Mr Simpson said.

Sinks

"Because Mr Trump's companies are generally not publicly traded and don't do a lot of public disclosure, we can only have a limited look into the financing of those projects.

"But because the Irish courses and the Scottish courses are under UK, you know, Anglo corporate law, they file financial statements.

"So we were able to get the financial statements.

"And they don't, on their face, show Russian involvement, but what they do show is enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources.

"At least on paper it says it's from the Trump Organisation, but it's hundreds of millions of dollars."

He referred to the golf courses as "sinks" that don't actually make any money.

"So, you know, if you're familiar with Donald Trump's finances and the litigation over whether he's really a billionaire, you know, there's good reason to believe he doesn't have enough money to do this, and that he would have had to have outside financial support for these things."

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