Say what you like about Donald Trump’s proclivity to brag about everything he does despite all rational evidence to the contrary, but when it comes to lying, nobody understates his crimes better than Trump. In fact, when it comes to downplaying his criminal shenanigans, Donald Trump is – I can’t believe I’m going to say this – downright humble!
As you may recall, Trump’s dreams of empire on Russian soil included 250 luxury condos along the Moscow River and a $50 million penthouse, all spectacularly ensconced in Trump’s latest phallic monument to himself, Trump Tower Moscow. The penthouse was to be built for the exclusive use of none other than Vladimir Putin. As they say on the infomercials, “But wait, there’s more!” Trump’s daughter Ivanka also was going to have an Ivanka-branded spa in the building. The spa alone was expected to generate $300 million annually in profits.
According to Rudy Giuliani, one of Donald Trump’s, ahem, “attorneys,” the whole project boiled down to a single letter of intent that was never signed and was of little consequence. However, BuzzFeed News revealed last night that documents the outlet has obtained over more than a year of reporting show that architects and developers drew up many highly detailed plans for Trump Tower Moscow. Those plans included, of course, a letter of intent signed by none other than Donald Trump.
So when Trump proclaimed during his 2016 run for the presidency that he had no building plans in the works with the Russians, he wasn’t just lying, he was lying spectacularly. The plans were much further along and much more highly detailed than anyone previously had thought.
What the news outlets aren’t reporting is the most glaring, head-scratching mystery of all. The evidence is incontrovertible that Donald Trump wasn’t just toying with the idea of building Trump Tower Moscow, he was in deadly earnest and the plans were moving forward in considerable haste and alacrity. How did Trump expect to both be president of the United States and the master of Trump Tower Moscow? How did he earnestly expect to pull that off? Unless he never truly expected to – or more to the point, never truly wanted to – get elected president in the first place.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.