Trump has certainly been embattled with corruption, nepotism, and a possible betrayal of the United States if he indeed did collude with Russia and Putin against Clinton in the 2016 election. Now it seems Russia may be the least of Trump’s worries as Rachel Maddow reports.
It all began with Azerbaijan and their dictator’s newly found oil wealth and a well-known American construction giant called Bechtel.
Bechtel has a reputation for taking on large-scale construction projects. They built the Hoover Dam and even built the dome over the Chernobyl Reactor after what was at the time the worst meltdown in the history of nuclear plants. At least until Fukushima.
Now for a little background. Trump doesn’t have much to do with roads but apparent corruption certainly does. According to Rachel Maddow, the Azeri Transportation Minister met with Bechtel to discuss building roads. They wanted to improve their infrastructure.
However, Bechtel’s price quote of 5 to 6 million dollars per kilometer for what is referred to as “green roads”, roads built from the bottom up without any pre-existing infrastructure, was just too high. So the Azeri’s decided to settle for the bargain price of 18 million dollars per kilometer. When somebody makes a deal like this that makes absolutely no sense, you really have to wonder if there isn’t something more to the story.
Who, you may be asking, did they pay almost triple to in order to build these roads? Well, as it turns out, a construction company operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Another question you may be asking: Why on Earth would the Iranian Revolutionary Guard be operating a construction company?
Well, as Iran is under the thumb of sanctions from the United Nations it is a little difficult for them to make financial gains. So under the guise of a construction company, Iran has been quietly filling their coffers with Azeri oil money. And potentially, some of Donald Trump’s which brings us to the crux of the story.
Trump Tower in Azerbaijan began construction in 2008. Just not anywhere near where you would expect a luxury hotel to be in a nation bordering the Caspian Sea. No, this tower is in the middle of a bad neighborhood with nearby scenery consisting of rail yards and a series of confusing roads that leaves many wondering how to even access the Tower.
Trump signed contracts with the Mammadovs to begin construction on Trump Tower Azerbaijan. The Mammadovs also have ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
According to a report by Adam Davidson of The New Yorker:
“In recent months, American officials have expressed concern that Trump Administration figures might be blackmailed by foreign entities. U.S. law-enforcement investigators and congressional staffers have probed claims that Russian government officials possess compromising information about President Trump, which might be used to blackmail him. (The President maintains that there is no such information.) In January, the Department of Justice informed the White House that Michael Flynn—then the national-security adviser—was vulnerable to being blackmailed by the Russians because he had lied about having spoken with the Russian Ambassador. Flynn subsequently resigned.”
“…In Iran, government officials are likely facing additional sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. If the Mammadovs or powerful Iranians have evidence that the Trump Organization broke laws, they might be tempted to exploit it.”
And certainly, funding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a state sponsor of terrorists around the globe, would have somebody like Trump wanting to hide his financial records. It would also be a juicy bit of blackmail material should Trump try to increase sanctions on the Middle-Eastern nation.
Watch Rachel Maddow crack the story wide open below.
(featured image via screengrab)