President Donald Trump frequently claims he has no ties to Russians or business dealings within Russia. But an investigation by the Reuters news agency has found that at least 63 individuals or companies with Russian passports or home address have purchased nearly $100 million in property from Trump Organization holdings in Florida alone.
Trump made denials last month that he had anything to do with Russia, especially when it came to his business arrangements. “I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” the president said in February. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”
But these business dealings in Florida seem to contradict Trump’s insinuation that he had no ties to Russian companies or individuals. And according to the Reuters report, many of the deals serve the purpose of helping the Russian elite “stow cash” in foreign properties, a move that allows them to avoid listing their assets in their home country.
The investigation also states that the amount invested may be a conservative estimate, and that it may be much more. Several transactions with the Trump organization regarding these properties include purchases made by limited liability companies (LLCs), allowing the true identities of the purchasers to remain anonymous.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization wholeheartedly denied the allegations. “I can say definitively that this is an overblown story that is media-created,” Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten said.