Monday, April 10, 2017

A birthday video call captures a telling moment in Trump’s Russia connections | McClatchy Washington Bureau

A birthday video call captures a telling moment in Trump’s Russia connections | McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON
Several businessmen and celebrities from the former Soviet Union gathered on the Turkish Riviera in June 2005 to celebrate the grand opening of what was billed then as the country’s most luxurious hotel.

The owners were from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and it was the birthday of one of them, Tofik Arifov, a former Soviet official turned real estate developer with offices in Manhattan’s Trump Tower.

There was food, drink and song. There was also a video conference call from a well-wisher from America who couldn’t attend but who, according to a Russian news account, urged the celebrants to raise their glasses.

“Tofik is my friend!” Donald Trump said through the phone. “Let’s toast Tofik!”

That moment, revealed in sealed documents obtained by McClatchy that were part of a British lawsuit involving several Russians, captures Trump in a milieu that has since cast a cloud over his presidency. The court documents focused on what law enforcement calls Russian “OCGs” – organized criminal groups.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article142584709.html#storylink=cpy

  

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