For the past month Palmer Report has been reporting on the curious flight patterns of Monaco-based Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has a consistent habit of flying into whatever city Donald Trump is visiting. The two men simultaneously visited the town of Concord, North Carolina, for instance. But the greater focus has been Rybolovlev’s travel when Trump visits Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach. And it may have just happened again.
Rachel Maddow used her MSNBC show this week to point out the curious pattern, marking the first time cable news has paid attention the story. We know that Dmitry Rybolovlev has begun disguising his travel habits as he’s come under greater media scrutiny. For instance last month he flew into Miami International Airport as Donald Trump was arriving at West Palm Beach International airport, about an hour’s drive apart, seemingly to try to throw off the public. This weekend, Rybolovlev appears to have adopted a new tactic.
According to the flight tracking of his private plane, which uses the call sign M-Kate, Rybolovlev had been in Los Angeles for an extended period. But the day before Donald Trump was scheduled to head to Mar-a-Lago, the flight tracking says that Rybolovlev suddenly flew all the way across the continent – to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. That’s only a two hour flight away from West Palm Beach via commercial aircraft. And if he no longer felt he could fly directly into Florida on M-Kate without arousing suspicion, then St. Croix would be about as close as he could get before needing to change planes.
Dmitry Rybolovlev also has ownership (along with Trump Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross) in a bank that’s been caught laundering Russian money, and just happens to have loaned more than $1 billion to Trump. So did Rybolovlev meet with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago this weekend, or was he merely enjoying a randomly timed vacation on an island off the coast of Florida while Trump was in town? We’re working on tracking down that last part. Contribute to Palmer Report
Help fund Palmer Report: