Is Turkey Hacking Trump?

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald (author of Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, Serpent on the Rock, and a few other books) is reporting an interesting story this morning.

Here is the short version, as I understand it.

Turkey had a coup. The Turkish government, in particular, President Erdogan, blames naturalized US citizen Fethullah Gülen for that coup, and wants him extradited. The US won’t do that.

President Erdogan and Presumed President Elect Trump had a conversation soon after the election, in which Trump mentioned a key player in the development of the Turkish version of Trump Towers. We may presume this was an effort to get that project special treatment in Turkey.

Trump’s efforts to sidle up to Erdogan backfired, and something different happened. The Erdogan government arrested a key individual related to the Trump project, accusing him of being linked to the Coup.

So, now, we have this situation. President Trump (assuming he becomes president) is under pressure to release Imam Gülen to the Turks else his business dealings with respect to the Turkish Trump Tower project be threatened.

Inauguration day hasn’t even happened yet and we are already seeing Trump’s business empire involved in seemingly nefarious dealings and intrigue. He can’t run a country like this.

Trump was planning to give a news conference on Thursday to describe his plans for separating his businesses from his presidency. That would be appropriate, because the Electors would have a chance to review his plans to see if he is qualified to be president. But yesterday, Trump said he’d hold that news conference in January instead. There is speculation that Trump is essentially hiding out, avoiding talking about Friday’s allegations that the Russians are significantly responsible, according to the CIA, for Trump winning the election. In any event, Trump will not be providing the information necessary for Electors to determine his qualifications, which is their Constitutional responsibility.

Over night, Trump did tweet something about his business plans. According to his over night tweets, he is sticking with the original plans. No blind trust, no divestment, his kids will handle the businesses.

In typical Trump slo mo, he said, “Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my busineses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the……”

Then, six minutes later, finished the sentence with “Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”

Nine minutes later he finished the thought and elaborated: “I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!”

The Newsweek story covers a lot more than the Turkish situation. It is here and you should read it. The Trump-Philippines-Holocaust-TrumpTower connection is especially chilling.

Rachel Maddow covered the story last night as well:

Comments

  1. #1 Brainstorms
    December 13, 2016

    Blackmail… Greenmail… Corruption… Conflicts of interest… “Busy times!”

  2. #2 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Not to mention how Hilary shouldn’t have become a nominee because of crimes she committed before she was president. Which suddenly become how we need to give Trump a chance and not know about what he was doing.

    After all, Trump has nothing to hide, which is why he’s unable to give his tax returns. They’re just so great, like you wouldn’t believe, and everyone else will feel inadequate because of how good his tax returns are.

  3. #3 Brainstorms
    December 13, 2016

    What will U.S. CEO Putin do if Turkey does try to influence his U.S. President Trump?

    Will Russia threaten Turkey, telling them, “Hands off! He’s OUR puppet!!”

  4. #4 RickA
    United States
    December 13, 2016

    Wow #2:

    If Trump was a climate scientist he could say:

    Why should I give my tax return data to you – you are just trying to find fault with it.

    Just kidding (grin).

  5. #5 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    A sentence never to be said to Trump. His hands are too small.

  6. #6 Brainstorms
    December 13, 2016

    I’m sure they’re not so small that Putin can’t thread strings through them.

    “Soviet Don”, the marionette. “Hi boys & girls, I’m going to make Russia great again! My CEO, Mr Putin, is going to help me turn the United States into the New USSR (U.S. Soviet Republic).

    “It will great, believe me! And I’ll own all best hotels, there, too.”

  7. #7 Iain Davidson
    Australia
    December 13, 2016

    Not quite “Peace in our time”

  8. #8 Dave X
    December 13, 2016

    Our President Puppet leaves his strings lying all over the place.

  9. #9 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Well frequently puppets (that don’t have articulated hands) have very small hands.

    And strange hairdo’s.

    And a very slow way of talking.

    Haaangg onnnn…..

  10. #10 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “Why should I give my tax return data to you – you are just trying to find fault with it.”

    Well this may be comensurate with CRU’s position IF
    a) Trump didn’t all his tax returns
    b) Some tax returns were classified documents (or otherwise not possible to give out to the public)
    c) Spammed out as a request for three sites in each request but totaling thousands of sites overall
    d) There was a website exhorting people to do this, with a generic request form to fill in
    e) Another place where those bits of information that had already been asked for
    f) And a decade or so later, still nothing had happened with the data
    g) All the information was viable under the request, as opposed to validly by law not required to be answered
    h) And asked by people around the world, not just the USA

    THEN there’d be some equivalence.

    You know, like if we demanded of Trump the tax returns of each of the (at one time) Trump owned or run businesses and the board level meeting notes for all of them, parceled out in small requests, and justified with “But we’re shareholders, and we own the company in part!”.

    Most of those businesses information is no longer legally required to be stored, many of them are no longer owned by Trump, so the information doesn’t belong to Trump any more, there’s nothing proving that the information is wanted for any purpose at all, and nothing proving the claim of part-ownership is even valid. And doing so would tie up all the business work for months, because each request would have to be vetted for propriatory information by legal, arraigned for each request as they come in.

    But lastly, there shouldn’t be ANYTHING funny with his tax returns. If there were, then anyone wanting to blackmail Trump has an avenue to do so in that odd tax returns.

    He’s not trying to get the job of undersecretary to the secretary of defence, he’s going for the top job. Far more “important” than one of thousands of scientists whose work stands alone and verifies the conclusions. You only have one president.

    If someone had spammed him for business communications and held up his appointment until they’d been completed, I would agree Trump should tell them no way.

    But not if it’s to the senate, and not if it’s his tax returns, a thing every other president managed.

    Yes, really.

  11. #11 jimspice
    December 13, 2016

    Complicating the matter, Gulen runs the largest network of charter schools on the nation. Ed. Sec. DeVos will probably fight to keep him.