Surreal new Trump-Russia revelation in newly released House transcripts

The House Intelligence Committee finally released the transcripts today from the Trump-Russia testimony given by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the company behind the infamous Trump-Russia dossier. There are a number of striking revelations in the testimony. One of them points to a Russian gangster who ran a criminal enterprise out of Trump Tower and was known to associate with Donald Trump while they were both in Russia. Have we just found the Kremlin’s handler in Trump Tower?

It was political commentator Caroline Orr who spotted the revelation today in Simpson’s testimony transcripts. Simpson pointed to a Russian gangster known as “Taiwanchik” who lived in Trump Tower and ran a high stakes gambling ring out of his apartment there (link). Perhaps more importantly, Donald Trump was seen associating with this gangster during the Miss Universe pageant in Russia in 2013. This is the same event in which Simpson’s company Fusion GPS alleges that the Kremlin sent prostitutes to Trump in the “Pee Pee Tape” incident. So let’s think this through.

What are the odds that a Russian gangster was living in Donald Trump’s New York City home of Trump Tower, running a criminal enterprise out of Trump Tower, socializing with Trump when they were both in Russia, and it was all just happenstance? One key to unraveling the Trump-Russia conspiracy has been trying to figure out precisely whom the Kremlin used as Trump’s handlers.

Meanwhile, it’s still far from clear as to why the House Intelligence Committee, whose Republican leadership has been heavily compromised by Donald Trump, was willing to allow the Fusion GPS transcript to be released today. The Republicans running the Senate Judiciary Committee fought tooth and nail to prevent their own Fusion GPS testimony transcripts from seeing the light of day, before Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein ultimately released it without their approval.

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