When traveling reporters arrived with Donald Trumpet his golf course in Florida today, they were promptly escorted to the semi-summerged “basement” floor — where they were then stranded in a room whose windows had been covered with black plastic sheeting. The message could not have been more clear: they would not be allowed to see whatever it was Trump was doing at the golf club. And that could be because he was meeting up once again with his favorite Russian oligarch.
At the beginning of the week, Daily Kos documented the curious case of Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has done multimillion dollar real estate business with Donald Trump in the past, and who seems to arriving on a private plane whenever Trump arrives in a destination city. For instance the two of them made a point of being in Concord, North Carolina at the exact same handful of hours, with no good reason for them both to have been there. And now, based on plane numbers and flight plans, internet sleuths now believe they’ve sussed out that Rybolovlev flew from Switzerland into West Palm Beach today during the time that Donald Trump just happened to be there.
If this is the case, then it could explain Trump’s motive for taking the bizarre step of essentially locking reporters in the dungeon today while he was supposedly just playing a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. There was no real reason for Trump not to want the press to witness or photograph the golf game, and in fact it was a strong enough photo op that Trump himself ended up posting photos of it. But what else was going at the golf course today?
The most tentative part of all of this is that while Donald Trump’s financial ties to Dmitry Rybolovlev are clear based on their real estate transactions, Rybolovlev is Russian oligarch, and not a Russian government agent; his true relationship to Vladimir Putin aren’t entirely clear. But on the same weekend that Trump’s National Security Advisor was busted for having colluded with the Russian government, it’s a red flag that Trump’s favorite Russian oligarch may have showed up in the same town as Trump yet again – and that reporters were physically blocked from being able to see Trump’s activities during this same exact window of time. As always, we’ll keep digging.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report