Hacker, Banker, Soldier, Spy: A Guide to the Key Players in the Trump-Russia Scandal

Mother Jones 

As part of our project to cover this scandal, we've assembled dossiers on the sprawling cast of characters who populate this stranger-than-fiction controversy threatening to engulf the presidency. We'll be adding to and updating these, so check back regularly. Despite his claims to the contrary, the president's ties to Russia are long, deep, and, above all, mysterious. In the 1980s, before the Soviet bloc crumbled, Trump was already trying to get a foothold behind the Iron Curtain. Since then, he has on at least three occasions announced plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in partnership with various power players and oligarchs. Before his campaign came under investigation by the FBI and assorted congressional committees, the mogul happily touted his Russian dealings: "I've done a lot of business with the Russians," he once bragged to David Letterman. Trump's relationship with Russia, and his refusal to condemn the Kremlin as evidence of its election interference became clear, raised questions during his campaign. Not only did Trump praise Vladimir Putin, but his campaign pushed to remove a plank from the Republican Party platform that called for arming Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces. Help MoJo mount a truly independent investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation today. He also surrounded himself with aides and advisers with curious Russian connections, including lobbyist Paul Manafort and little-known consultant Carter Page, who traveled to Moscow at the height of the presidential campaign to deliver a speech critical of US foreign policy.