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Donald Trump's Skeleton Closet

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Well we tried and tried, but we just couldn't find any scandals on Donald Trump. Weird.

PSYCH! Trump is easily the most scandalous candidate to ever run for president, passing his buddy Newt Gingrich with ease. One of the interesting things about him is that The Donald frequently accuses his opponents of things that he is actually guilty of, a phenomenon known as "Trump's Mirror." Whenever you hear him make a wild accusation, consider the possibility that it's the projection of his own flaws.

In fact, Trump's inner circle is an all-star team of The Skeleton Closet's most perverted, corrupt and power-grabbing politicians over the last 20 years, including Rudy Guiliani, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich. It's like the Avengers of sleaze, a vile Voltron of scandal.

In a way, Trump is the opposite of Hillary Clinton, who has about the normal amount of real flaws and dirt, comparable to, say, a Mike Huckabee but is hyped and glorified as a master criminal literally guilty of mass murder and Satanism. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but she's just not that interesting or powerful, more of a policy wonk who's great at raising money by blurring and crossing ethical boundaries.

Trump, on the other hand, has so many scandals that people forget about half of them, or get overwhelmed and give up trying to follow them. When a candidate has extensive ties to the Mafia and that doesn't make their top five scandals, you know they've got some serious skeletons.

We're going to focus on a handful that seem especially bad. It's going to take a while to pull even the top five or six of Trump's scandals together, but here's what we're working on:

- Collaborating with America's enemies: Putin and Russia

- Bribery and foundation fraud

- Sexual assault (with at least 13 alleged victims)

- "Illegal" workers

- Trump University fraud

- Quotes

- Sources


If you have any tips, as always please email us.


- "No puppet! No puppet! You're the puppet!"

- Quote Sources

Collaborating with Putin and Russia

Donald Trump is openly collaborating with the United States' biggest enemy, Russia, and that country's dictator, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin. Putin is doing everything possible to help Trump win, notably hacking the email accounts of everyone connected to the Clinton campaign if at all possible and leaking anything that might be damaging through Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who is literally on the payroll of Russia Today, Putin's propaganda network. (He hosted a show on that network about five years ago. Russia Today has since rebranded itself as "RT" to obscure their connection to Russia.)

Russian hackers

Incredibly, Trump publicly asked hackers to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails after the first batch of Russian-hacked emails from the DNC were published on Wikileaks. Sure enough many thousands of emails from Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta have emerged every week since. Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's top advisors, told reporters that the Podesta emails were coming long before they were released, when no one else in the U.S. knew about them. And of course, Wikileaks has not released any emails from anyone connected to Trump or his campaign, though former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell's emails were hacked and excerpts embarrassing to Hillary Clinton were released.

Russian money

Russian interests tied to Putin have also provided a lot of Trump's funding over the last 15 years. As Max Boot wrote in the Los Angeles Times,

"Trump has sought and received funding from Russian investors for his business ventures, especially after most American banks stopped lending to him following his multiple bankruptcies.”
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said at a real estate conference that
"Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
Several Trump projects including Trump Soho were developed with funding from the Bayrock Group, a finance firm headquartered in Long Island but founded and run by Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet empire commerce official from Kazakhstan. The firm reportedly has extensive ties to Russian criminal interests and U.S.-based mafia.

One Bayrock staffer with close ties to Trump was Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant with convictions for clashing a man's face with a broken margarita glass, and a $40 million stock fraud scheme that targeted Russian investors and "relied on members of the La Cosa Nostra crime families for extortion and to resolve disputes," according to prosecutors. Trump gave Sater office space and business cards identifying him as a Trump employee, as Sater worked to set up Trump hotel deals in Moscow, China, the Ukraine, Florida and Los Angeles.

Other sketchy Russian-linked financing sources on Trump projects include FL Group, Talon International, Alexander Mashkevich and the Sapir Group.

Trump's help to Russia

Meanwhile, during this presidential election, Trump has praised Putin repeatedly, and done everything possible to change US policy to fit Putin's desires - even though Trump shows almost no interest in world affairs that don't involved Russia, trade deals or a wall with Mexico. Trump's delegates at the Republican convention removed a popular platform plank supporting the Ukraine against Russia's invasion. In fact, Trump has denied that Russia invaded the Crimea at all -- someting that not even Russia disputes. Trump has also undermined the NATO alliance -- created specifically to oppose Russian expansion -- by saying he might not defend our NATO allies against Russian invasion. Trump defended Putin against charges that the ex-KGB man is behind the murder of several Russian reporters who criticized him, saying:
“Well I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. ... He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know unlike what we have in this country."
The Donald's favors for Putin go on and on. Trump disputes the unanimous opinion of experts (both private consultants and all 17 US government intelligence agencies) that Russia is behind the hacking that's helping his campaign. He is even supporting Russia's position in the Syrian civil war, backing the civilian-slaughtering Assad regime and falsely claiming that its brutal seige of the city of Aleppo had also succeeded. (Russia desperately wants Assad to survive because he gives Putin a naval base on the Mediterranean sea.)

What's the link?

Some people have gotten bogged down in the mechanics of this collaboration. Did Trump have secret negotiations with Russia, perhaps through a secret email server? Did he discuss these things back in 2013, when he visited Moscow and tweeted hopes that Putin would be his "new best friend"? There are even rumors among some reporters that Trump was lured into an orgy with possibly underaged girls during that trip, which Moscow is using to blackmail him. None of this has any solid evidence behind it.

To me, the mechanics don't matter. Trump and Putin are serving each other's interests. Whether it's done through hints and winks, or direct talks, the result is the same: a potential president openly serving our enemy's interests, and getting their election help in return. It astounds me that this doesn't shock people more. If Trump and Putin are just each other's biggest fans and want to help each other for free, that's still terrible.

If you want direct links between the Trump campaign and Russia, there are several besides the funding noted above. Trump gave a scheduled interview to Russia Today this summer; when criticized, this master of reality TV improbably claimed he had no idea which network he was talking to. And many of his top advisers have direct financial links to Russian money or Putin (or both).

The Trump campaign's Russian connections

Michael Flynn, Trump's top military advisor, is an intelligence office who once headed the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has confirmed that he was paid by Russia Today to attend their gala 10th anniversary dinner in Moscow, where he sat at the head table with Putin and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Trump, announcing his 5 top foreign policy advisers, included Carter Page, an unknown 44-year-old investment banker who has spent much of his professional career in Russia, or chasing deals with Russia. (He was an advisor to Gazprom, the huge government-owned natural gas company.) It's hard to see where Trump even heard of him aside from mutual links to Russia businessmen. Trump advisor Richard Burt is on the board of Alfa Bank (the recipient of unusual traffic from Trump's organization on a secret server) and the board of an investment bank with a big stake in Gazprom. And in August, Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort was forced to resign after details emerged of his highly lucrative work for Russia's puppet leader in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich.

None of this proves a quid pro quo deal, of course, but it does show a lot of person-to-person conversations and deals are going on between the two sides, more than any U.S. presidential candidate has ever had with Russia or the Soviet Union. And as noted above, if Trump is promoting Putin's interests in the U.S. out of sheer love or a heartfelt desire to promote Russian interests, that isn't really any better. - Putin Sources

Sexual Assault

A dozen women have come forward to publicly accuse Trump of various forms of sexual attack, from just suddenly kissing them on the mouth in public with no warning, to grabbing their butts or vaginas. One woman (Jessica Leeds) says that she was sitting next to Trump in the first class section of an airplane at one point during the early 1980s, and without speaking he just reached over and started grabbing her breasts and put his hand up her skirt. Another says that she was at a nightclub in New York, sitting on a bench, when Trump sat down next to her, put his hand up her skirt and grabbed her crotch.

Reporters have checked out all of these allegations and found that in almost all cases, the stories check out -- meaning that friends of the women confirm that they complained of these attacks at the time, and both Trump and the women were in the place where they said the attack occurred, at the time. It's almost impossible to prove or disprove these kinds of incidents years later though, without videotape or a confession.

Unfortunately for Trump, he DID confess to exactly the behavior these women have accused him of, while a reality-TV show film crew was recording his visit to a soap opera for a 2006 guest appearance. Trump was hanging out Billy Bush, the co-host of the show (and -- amazingly -- the nephew and cousin respectively of America's two Bush presidents named George Bush) when they had this chat:

Bush: “Your girl’s hot as s---, in the purple."

Trump: "Whoa! Whoa! I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Bush: “Whatever you want."

Trump: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Trump denies all 13 allegations as a group, and his campaign even presented a bizarre alibi for the airplane molestation charge. They produced an alleged witness, Briton Anthony Gilberthorpe, who claimed to have been on the exact same airplane in first class 35 years ago, and to have recognized Leeds (who is 73 now, and was 38 at the time) from her photo in the newspaper. Gilberthorpe specifically "remembers" Trump not molesting the woman but says she was "shrill" and "flirtatious" with Trump, and told him -- when Trump went to the bathroom -- that she wanted to marry Trump.

By his own account, Gilberthorpe would have been 18 at the time, in first class on an American plane flight. He has produced unusual eyewitness accounts in other politically charged cases, too. In 2014, he claimed that he had been a pimp procuring underage male prostitutes (who "could have been" underage) for prominent British politicans -- now dead -- back when he was 17. Gilberthorpe admitted in a separate court case that he had lied about an engagement to an American heiress. In 1997, he accepted approximately 25,000 British pounds to allow them to set up film and video cameras in his apartment, which he was lending to a Member of Parliament for an affair with his 18-year-old mistress. The scandal ended the MP's political career.

Trump himself denied the allegation about the airplane assault by telling a crowd in Greensboro, North Carolina that the woman was not pretty enough for him to molest.

"Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you."
Sexual Assault Sources

Bribery and Foundation fraud

In Florida, Attorney General Pam Biondi announced in 2013 that she was investigating numerous complaints by Floridians about the "University," but then dropped the probe after Trump made a $25,000 donation to her re-election campaign a few days later. The following year, Trump hosted a fund-raiser for her at his Mar-A-Lago resort, and in 2015 she endorsed him for President.

Worse yet, he didn't give her the money himself. He had his tax-deductible charity make the political contribution which is illegal; Trump had to pay the IRS a fine for the violation. He had covered it up by having his staff enter in the books that the payment went to a different, and charitable group, with a similar name.

More details soon: Biondi donation, Kallstrom, bragging about it. - Bribery Sources

Hired "Illegal" Immigrants

Despite his campaign promises to "build a wall" to stop illegal immigration, Trump himself has repeatedly and knowingly hired undocumented immigrants to save money at his different businesses, including the construction of his most famous building, Trump Tower (the location of his campaign headqarters), his modeling agency, and even his brand new building in Washington, the old Post Office, which opened in the middle of the campaign. And his own wife worked illegally on a tourist visa before she got better documentation. Trump needed to tear down a 12 story building to clear room for Trump Tower, under a deadline. Seeing a group of 200 Polish workers at a building site next door, he convinced their boss to form a new company and hired it as his subcontractor. They worked 24 hours a day in 12 hour shifts without safety helmets for $4-5 per hour, no overtime. Even then, they didn't get paid what they were owed. Their boss had taken off for Florida with his new money, so Trump had one of his vice presidents (Thomas Macari) pay them in cash. They still didn't get their money, and Trump soon fired them in favor of union workers to finish the job, leading the workers' lawyer to put 3 mechanics' liens on the property. Then Trump's company didn't contribute enough to the union pension fund, leading to a second lawsuit.

Under oath, Trump denied knowing that he had hired illegal workers, blaming the subcontracting company he helped set up. But the first of several judges in the case ruled that Trump had "participated in defauding the union pension fund," but he delayed the case for 15 years before settling out of court.

The Washington Post reports that Trump's newest project, the Old Post Office, used a mix of legalized and still undocumented workers, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Ivan Arrellano, who has obtained a green card since he crossed the border, told the reporter that “The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally. And we’re all here working very hard to build a better life for our families.”

Donald Trump also ran a modeling agency, Trump Model Management. 3 former models of the firm told Mother Jones Magazine that they were brought in on tourist visas for paid modeling work, which is illegal. A fourth model filed a lawsuit against the firm making similar allegations. Two of the models said Trump's firm trained them to lie to immigrations officials about the reason for their visit.

The models made barely any money after large deductions for expenses, but Trump (who owned 85% of the firm) pocketed $2 million from the company. In fact, according to the Associated Press, pay stubs and a contract show that Trump's own wife Melania, a Slovenian model, worked illegally on 10 modelling jobs (including Fitness Magazine and Bergdorf Goodman) that earned her $20,000 in just 7 weeks, while holding a tourist visa. For all of these models, lying to get a visa would be considered fraud, a valid reason to deport someone such as Melania, even if she later got a green card enabling her to work. - Illegal Workers Sources

Fraud (Trump University)

Trump is under investigation by the state Attorney General of New York for allegations of fraud, concerning "Trump University." That business 00 not an accredited university -- promised to teach students how to get rich in real estate using Trump's methods, and even promised personal meetings with Trump, in return for "tuition" totalling many thousands of dollars extracted by a high-power marketing team.

Many students felt cheated and there are no known examples of students getting rich using what they learned. "Trump University" closed after just a few years. Trump's campaign claimed an extremely high satisfaction rate among students, based on evaluations that students said were coerced or even flat out fabricated.

Several othe states are investigating Trump University for fraud. One that isn't -- any more -- is Florida. The AG announced she was going to, but Trump quickly wrote her a check for $25,000 -- from his charity's bank account, not his own, and later hosted a fund raiser for her. She then decided not to pursue the fraud. See "Bribery and Foundation Fraud" section for details. - Fraud Sources


Sexual Assault Sources

"Lawsuit Charges Donald Trump with Raping a 13-Year-Old Girl," by David Mikkelsen,, October 11, 2016

"Trump camp puts forward witness to refute sex assault claim," By Daniel Halper, New York Post, October 14, 2016

"Trump defender has colorful past," by Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2016

"Witness to Trump's alleged misconduct known for unproven claims," by Tracy McVeigh, The Guardian (UK), October 15, 2016

"Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005," by David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post, October 8, 2016

Putin Sources

"Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee," by Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike Blog, June 15, 2016 (Crowdstrike is a private online security consultant.)

"Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking," by Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, October 21, 2016

"The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow," by Julia Ioffe,, September 23, 2016

"Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia," by Jeff Nesbit, Time Magazine, Aug. 2, 2016 (Updated: Aug. 15, 2016)

"Op-Ed: Trump's opposition research firm: Russia's intelligence agencies," by Max Boot, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2016

"Putin’s Puppet,"By Franklin Foer, Slate Magazine, July 21, 2016

"Former Mafia-linked figure describes association with Trump," by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post, May 17, 2016

Illegal Workers sources

"What Donald Trump Knew About Undocumented Workers at His Signature Tower," by Massimo Calabresi, Time Magazine, Aug. 25, 2016


"You Have to Treat 'Em like Shit": Before Megyn Kelly, Trump Dumped Wine on a Female Reporter, by Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast, August 8, 2015

Trump University fraud sources

"Trump's pay-for-play scandal intensifies," By Nick Gass,, 09/07/16

"Trump pays IRS a penalty for his foundation violating rules with gift to aid Florida attorney general," by David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post, September 1, 2016

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