The Daily Beast reports: Donald Trump’s infatuation with Russia goes back more than 30 years, to the glasnost period of the Soviet Union when communism proved no impediment to get-rich-quick artists with loose scruples and gaudy tastes. In 1988 Trump was famously hoodwinked by Ronald Knapp, a Gorbachev impersonator, who stopped by Trump Tower and shook The Donald’s hand in what the latter clearly imagined was a rare moment in history, not to mention a wide enough slit in the Iron Curtain for capitalists on the make to wriggle through.
In 1986, Yuri Dubinin, Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, invited Trump to Moscow to discuss building a hotel that could stand as a symbol of the mogul’s international reach. Trump sought to erect his signature “Trump Tower” as an unmistakable totem to himself in the once-impenetrable capital of the world’s only other superpower.
And yet, not then, and no since, have we seen a gilded monstrosity rising in above the onion domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Russia, it seems, has proven too elusive for Trump to establish his highly touted name-brand, even though he and his scions have boasted of the steady stream of rubles pouring their way. [Continue reading…]