MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' hosts the creators of "Active Measures," a documentary about Russian political influence operations which makes the argument that the Russian mob "made its move" on future-President Trump as early as 2002. They play the trailer, which calls Trump Tower a "money laundering paradise" for organized crime and features an interview with Hillary Clinton. The director, writer, and producer, "Jack Ryan," traces back 30 years of Russian political warfare.
"The first incident we show is him personally meeting with a Russian mobster David Bogdan in 1984, and selling him five Trump Tower condos," the director said. "At that period before 2004 there is a loose association, and then around 2002-2004, members of the Russian mob start entering the Trump organization and getting seed capital."
[The 1991 Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcy] "is the first of a series of bankruptcies going from 1991 to 2004, where he starts losing his ability to borrow from banks. The Russian mob is seeing this, and makes their move," he says.
Rather than "sex tapes," he says "financial improprieties" are the major source of crime.
"Starting in 2002, whereas before you see incidents of money laundering, you're seeing particularly in buildings like Trump SoHo, Toronto Tower, Panama Tower, there is what appears to be Russian or post-Soviet money going into it, particularly from the Ukraine-Russian gas trade."
"The allegation is that Donald Trump borrowed money from Russians when he couldn't get it in America?" host Willie Geist clarified.
"They borrowed," the director said. "But they also moved in [to Trump properties]. They were also making investments."
It is well known that many Russians rent property in Trump buildings and that any Russian money is often difficult to trace and verify.