“That is that, if you look at Trump’s situation after the bankruptcies that occurred in 2004, when the banks withdrew their letters of credit, most people thought he was finished. From that point forward, there was an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into Trump projects—Trump branded projects all around the world, that re-floated the Trump Empire and made it viable. All that money seems to have come out of Russia—from Russian oligarchs, from Russian organized crime groups. And that’s something that was really not very well developed during the campaign. And those facts all together would explain what is otherwise an almost inexplicable relationship between Donald Trump and Putin, where he cannot criticize this man or say a negative thing about him.”–Scott Horton, lecturer at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of “Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Warfare.”
Trump’s wiretapping claims come amid continued scrutiny over Trump associates’ communications with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he will address lawmakers’ questions about his communications with Russia’s ambassador last year. All nine Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked committee chairman Chuck Grassley to bring Sessions back for another hearing, amid allegations he lied under oath in his first testimony. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Sessions used his own campaign funds for the trip to the Republican National Convention, where he spoke with the Russian ambassador. Sessions has recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. The Washington Post reports Trump was furious that Sessions recused himself. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearing for Rod Rosenstein for deputy attorney general, who, if confirmed, would take over the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and any links between Russian officials and Trump’s associates. We’ll have more on Trump, Russia and the wiretapping claims later in the broadcast.