April 19, 2017

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE:

Trump's inaugural committee took $1 million from a Russian-American whose money the GOP rejected (Max de Haldevang, 4/19/17, Quartz)

In 2000, Alexander Shustorovich, a Russian-American millionaire, tried to give $250,000 to the Republican party in support of then-Texas governor George W. Bush's presidential campaign. The check bounced due to a clerical error, and once party officials looked into Shustorovich, they realized this was someone whose name they didn't want (paywall) attached to them. They told him to keep his money.

Not long before, a potential uranium deal between Russia and the US had fallen through, after the Clinton administration sounded warning notes (paywall) over Shustorovich's connections to the Russian government. (His company, Pleiades Group, would have been a middleman in the deal.) However, in 2017, the Trump Inaugural Committee decided to take $1 million from Shustorovich, according to a Federal Election Commission filing (pdf).

In 2012, Shustorovich, who was born in Moscow and moved to the US as a child, implied in an interview with Wired that he had good relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin and prime minister Dmitri Medvedev. He had earlier been engaged to Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of Putin's earliest political benefactor.

Posted by at April 19, 2017 6:32 PM

  

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