Trump Toronto Hotel Financed By Russians & Kremlin-Backed Bank, According To Report
A Financial Times investigation claims it has seen documents suggesting that Russian may have been involved in indirectly financing of President Donald Trump‘s Toronto hotel tower.
The Times has been investigating the money behind Trump Toronto for 10 months.
Some of the money flows that the paper has established raise questions about Trump’s vulnerability to undue influence now that he is in the White House.
These include evidence that Trump’s billionaire partner, Russian-Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider, had approved a secret $100 million “commission” payment to “introducers” representing the Kremlin’s interests.
The payment was to facilitate the sale of his group’s prize asset, its stake in a steel mill in eastern Ukraine and represented more than 10 percent of the $850 million sale price. The sale of the stake for $850 million was financed by Russian bank VEB, which is chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time, and Shnaider earmarked $40 million for the construction of the Trump Toronto, according to the Financial Times.
Previously, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that the VEB was involved in the project, but the $100 million commission payment has not previously been reported.
However, the payments were part of a series of transactions that generated millions for the backers of the Toronto venture — a project that, in turn, made millions for the future president.
The Trump Organization told the Financial Times, “The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto. Consequently, it had no involvement in the financing of the project. Instead, the company’s role was limited to licensing its brand and managing the hotel and residences, which it did until June 2017 when its agreement ended.”
The President is currently at the center of an FBI investigation into possible Russian collusion during the 2016 election. The President has repeatedly denied any connections to Russia.