Donald Trump, Russian Mafia & US Intelligence Secrets

Donald Trump, will soon be entitled to regular briefings on some of the United States’ most sensitive intelligence secrets. Once Trump, becomes the Republican nominee for the White House in July, he’ll be entitled to updates based on the President’s Daily Brief, a compilation of top-level classified intelligence about global events.

It’s a prospect giving pause to some officials, who wonder how Trump will react to the information and whether he might inadvertently let some sensitive information slip out, according to several who asked not to be identified because they don’t want to be seen as taking sides in the political campaign.

While every Republican and Democratic nominee since the 1950s has received such briefings, providing them to Trump is going to be a unique experience for intelligence professionals, said Michael Hayden, who served as director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009 and participated in the sessions for Democrat Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Senator John McCain, in 2008.

This concern on part of the intelligence community maybe because of Trump’s long standing ties with the mafia.

Donald Trump and the Mob

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Donald Trump’s glittering empire of New York skyscrapers and Atlantic City casinos have long had a darker side, allegations that the mob helped build them. Trump’s alleged ties to New York and Philadelphia crime families go back decades and have been recounted in a book, newspapers and government records.

As CNN reported in its article titled Donald Trump and the Mob,

“The mob connections of Donald are extraordinarily extensive,” New York investigative journalist Wayne Barrett told CNN in an interview.

Barrett, the author of the 1992 unauthorized biography “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall,” wrote that Trump’s life “intertwines with the underworld.”

To be sure, organized crime had ties to the New York and New Jersey construction industry in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, making contact between developers and mafia-controlled companies almost unavoidable at times.

In Manhattan, Trump used the mob-controlled concrete company S&A to build Trump Plaza condos. Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, the don of New York’s Gambino family, controlled S&A, according to federal court records Barrett cited in his book.

Barrett noted that he built the Trump Tower out of concrete, instead of steel, at a time when the mafia controlled much the concrete industry.

In a Philadelphia Inquirer article from the time the book was published, reporter David Cay Johnston summed up Barrrett’s unauthorized biography, writing that it “asserts that throughout his adult life, Donald Trump has done business with major organized-crime figures and performed favors for their associates.”

Trump was a target of a 1979 bribery investigation and was questioned in a 1981 racketeering probe, but neither federal investigation led to criminal charges, Johnston wrote.

More recently, Johnston, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, wrote an article called “21 Questions for Donald Trump” where he asked, “Why did you use concrete instead of steel girders” to build the 58-story Trump Tower?

However, more important to this story are Trump’s connections to the international prostitution ring allegedly financed from questionable sources from Russia; sources close to Putin himself.

Trump & The Russian Mafia

In 2010 the founding chairman of Bayrock, Tevfik Arif, who has reputed Russian organized crime ties was charged in Turkey for smuggling underage girls into the country for prostitution. Another principal in the deal is Russian émigré Tamir Sapir, who also lives in Trump Tower.

As reported by Turkish News,

A New York real estate mogul with ties to Donald Trump is at the center of an international sex scandal – suspected of running a high-priced prostitution ring.

Tevfik Arif, 57, has been detained in Turkey on suspicion of setting up trysts between wealthy businessmen and Eastern European models – some underage – aboard a $60 million yacht once used by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Ataturk.

Tevfik Arif Ivanka Trump Donald Sex Slaves Racket Prostitution Russian Mafia Putin GreatGameIndia FBI CIA Intelligence Secrets
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 19: Tevfik Arif, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump at the Trump Soho Launch on September 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)

Arif, whose Bayrock Group co-developed the Trump SoHo and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, was among 10 people rounded up in Tuesday’s raid on suspicion of running a prostitution ring.

However the relationship between Donald Trump and Felix Sater, whose father is a reputed Russian Organized Crime boss, represents a rather direct link between the presidential candidate and Russian Organized Crime. The Russian émigré — a twice-convicted felon with ties to the Mafia — appeared in photos with Trump, and carried a Trump Organization business card with the title “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.” Trump was confused when asked under oath in a 2013 about his relationship to the Russian émigré.

As reported by the New York Times,

Mr. Sater was convicted and sent to prison in 1993 after a New York bar fight in which he stabbed a man in the face with a broken margarita glass. That was a matter of public record. However, what few people beyond insiders at Bayrock knew was that five years later, Mr. Sater was implicated in a huge stock manipulation scheme involving Mafia figures and Russian criminals — and that he became a confidential F.B.I. informant.

Recently unsealed federal court records show that Mr. Sater helped the government disrupt an organized crime ring on Wall Street and deal with an unexplained national security matter involving his foreign connections. He was not the only F.B.I. informant in Bayrock’s offices. Another was Salvatore Lauria, an associate of Mr. Sater, who sometimes showed up to work wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor.

Mr. Lauria brokered a $50 million investment in Trump SoHo and three other Bayrock projects by an Icelandic firm preferred by wealthy Russians “in favor with” President Vladimir V. Putin himself, according to a lawsuit against Bayrock by one of its former executives.

It is this prospect of Donald Trump backed up by the Russian Mafia getting its hand on top US intelligence secrets that maybe a matter of concern for the intelligence community, although the FBI and CIA have already been tracking them since decades.

Related: How A Countdown To A Secret Blackbook Could Impact The US Presidential Elections

Ex-CIA director Hayden declined to speculate whether Trump can be trusted but said he would expect the Obama administration to give the Republican nominee the same briefings as his Democratic opponent.

It is President Obama who gets to decide how much and what kind of classified information the presidential candidates will receive. This responsibility has been delegated to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Interestingly, this matter of withholding/protecting state secrets comes at a time when the FBI is investigating the matter related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for breaking the law because classified information was included in messages on her private e-mail system.

GGI News & Analysis

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