Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, and the possibility that he is in a compromised position because of his financial ties, "lingers" over his presidency, according to the former head of the Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.
The former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service went on the record saying Donald Trump owes money to Russia, putting Trump in a compromised position that "lingers" over him as president.
Richard Dearlove, who led the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly referred to as MI6, from 1999-2004, stated in an interview with Prospect Magazine:
What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.
In other words, deals Trump and his organization made during the 2008 financial crisis with Russian financiers, oligarchs, mobsters, or government entities could be used as a form of leverage over Trump's actions as president.
With his repeated bankruptcies and business failures, Trump's organization remains a "medium-to-high credit risk" and is considered "very likely to default" on payments, according to the organization Nav, which scores businesses credit ratings.
While Trump has often claimed to be a multi-billionaire, determining his exact net worth is difficult due to his lack of transparency and unwillingness to provide his tax returns. An evaluation perfumed by the financial giant Deutche Bank as part of a loan underwriting process in 2005 estimated Trump's worth to be only $788 million.
As the Washington Post reported in July 2016, "There is strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors." In 2007, Trump was working with Mafia-linked Russian businessman Felix Slater to try to develop properties in Moscow. In a sworn deposition that year, Trump said, "Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment. ... We will be in Moscow at some point." In 2008, Trump made over $50 million on a property he sold in Palm Beach to a Russian multi-billionaire. Also in 2008, Donald Trump, Jr., spoke at a real estate conference in New York where he remarked:
Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.
Additionally, Trump has repeatedly bragged about his connections with Russian oligarchs.
As was recently reported, the British intelligence agency was the first to observe Trump's unusual ties with Russia and to sound the alarm. As former head of MI6, Dearborn is certainly a credible source to provide warning about Trump's likely debts to Russian entities and the potential compromised position Trump is in as a result. Given Trump's record of constantly lying, even when faced with evidence that debunks his lies, his own continued assertions that he has "nothing to do with Russia" are suspect:
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Calls for Donald Trump to release his tax returns were made over and over again throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed he could not release them because they were "under audit."
Now that Trump holds the office of the presidency, and in light of the commentary by the former MI6 head about Trump's likely Russian debts, it is more important than ever to demand Trump reveal to the American people the extent and nature of his investments and indebtedness to foreign nation states and to people in positions of foreign power.
If Trump is compromised by his foreign financial ties, he is unable to "faithfully execute" his duties as president of the United States.