Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is requesting a government review of Donald Trump’s sale of a Palm Beach estate to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, a $95 million transaction that was double what Trump paid for the property only years earlier. He believes it’s possible money laundering.
Wyden on Friday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Sen. Wyden’s request included any Suspicious Activity Reports related to the 2008 sale, which more than doubled the price Mr. Trump paid for it just four years earlier,” read a news release.
“He also requested information collected under Treasury’s Geographic Targeting Orders program, which requires title insurance companies to identify the people behind shell companies used for all-cash purchases of luxury real estate. Palm Beach County is one of the geographic areas covered by the targeting orders.”
The concern here is that if they conduct a transaction from which they do not seem to clearly “benefit,” suspicions arise as to the motive: what does the client stand to gain from the transaction if not monetary gain?
Is there evidence to suggest that the client is trying to hide money through this transaction, thus the value of this transaction itself being of secondary importance to them?
The purchase of the luxury estate of the Maison de l’Amitie took place at a time when Rybolovlev was going through divorce proceedings with his wife, reportedly trying to hide as much of his fortune from her as possible.
Trump Caught On Tape: Trump Lies About Wealth
Donald Trump lied (above) about his wealth to get on the Forbes 400, the business magazine’s ranking of the world’s richest people, posing as publicist ‘John Barron’ to do so.
Writes Jonathan Greenberg in the Washington Post:
…it took decades to unwind the elaborate farce Trump had built to project an image as one of the richest people in America. Nearly every assertion supporting that claim was untrue. Trump wasn’t just poorer than he said he was. Over time I have learned that he should not have been on the first three Forbes 400 lists at all. In our first-ever list, in 1982, we included him at $100 million, but Trump was actually worth roughly $5 million — a paltry sum by the standards of his super-monied peers — as a spate of government reports and books showed only much later.
When Trump was campaigning for president, it was revealed that he masqueraded as his own spokesman earlier in his career to brag about his accomplishments, his wealth, and his alleged desirability to famous women.
In May 2016, The Washington Post published an audio recording of a 1991 call from a man claiming to be on Trump’s PR team, who responded to a request from People magazine reporter Sue Carswell for a comment on Trump’s divorce from wife Ivana and his increasingly complicated relationship with model Marla Maples.
As “John Miller”, Trump touted his reputation as a playboy, explaining that famous actresses and even the likes of Madonna call him wanting to date him.
Trump using the pseudonyms John Miller and John Barron was a fact well-known among New York journalists at the time. Trump would eventually admit that the call to People was a “joke gone awry.” And prior to that call, in 1990, Trump said of the name ‘John Miller,’ “I believe on occasion I used that name.”
Trump denied that fact:
In a phone call to NBC’s “Today” program, Trump denied that he was John Miller. “No, I don’t think it — I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” he said. “I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams — doesn’t sound like me.” Later, he was more definitive: “It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”
Trump continues to lie to this day, though there appears to be little to no consequence.
Pruitt Asks Trump to Make Him Attorney General
While its very possible that Scott Pruitt will not survive being the EPA Director for another week, he has being lobbying Trump for another job as Attorney General.
Yes, the man who is now under Investigation by the EPA Inspector General for using millions of tax payers money for his own person first class travel, believes he should be rewarded with a new job as the top cop.
Current AG Sessions has recused himself from investigations into Russia’s ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump, effectively prohibiting Sessions from firing Mueller. Pruitt, who has not recused himself, would seemingly not face the same constraints.
Switching out Sessions for Pruitt could have its pitfalls. Pruitt would face a tough confirmation hearing in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and Democrats would interrogate him about Russia, his EPA tenure and other thorny topics.
Trump Now Hiring From Disney Channel
Telling staff he wants more “hot young women” in his office, Trump is hiring a 22-year old Disney Channel star is making the leap from entertainment to the White House.
Caroline Sunshine, 22, has joined the Trump White House as a press assistant, ABC News has learned.
While she may be known for her acting, Sunshine has interned for the White House, the Office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the College Republican National Committee and the California Republican Party, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told ABC News. She was also involved in the American Enterprise Institute and her school’s Model United Nations team.
Before transitioning to politics, Sunshine spent three seasons playing Tinka Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel sitcom “Shake It Up.” Her other television credits include “A.N.T. Farm” and “Fish Hooks” on Disney Channel and appearances in “The Outfield,” “Marmaduke” and other films.