That time Trump admitted to business ties in Russia and praised Putin on ‘Letterman’

In repeated attempts to perpetuate falsehoods from his 2016 campaign, President Trump continues to deny having any business ties to Russia, a hostile foreign-state which the United States intelligence community has concluded is responsible for hacking into our major political institutions and interfering with our democratic processes. Circumstantial evidence, however, keeps contradicting the alternative universe in which Trump prefers we all live. Several of Trump’s cronies have Moscow-related connections in the worlds of business and government, and his own son, Donald Trump Jr., is on the record bragging about how much “money [is] pouring in from Russia.” And it’s just as good a time as any to remind everyone that The Donald himself has also boasted about his relationships over there.

During his October 17, 2013 appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” the reality TV star promoted his upcoming Miss Universe pageant held in Moscow. (Who knows, maybe that’s when piss time and the like happened.) Trump also bragged in an exchange with Letterman about how he’s “done a lot of business with the Russians,” who he continued to praise for being “smart” and “tough.” Trump also managed to single out President Vladimir Putin for being “tough” and even carried water for him when he denied the allegations made by Robert Kraft that Putin had managed to swipe the New England Patriots owner’s 2004 Super Bowl ring. (Putin still has the ring, BTW.)

Peep around 14:30 in the clip below.


Here, I transcribed the exchange for you. You’re welcome:

Letterman: Have you had any dealings with the Russians?

Trump: Well I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians—

Letterman: They’re commies. you know that. They’re commies—

Trump: They’re tough. They’re smart, and they’re tough and they’re not looking so dumb right now, are they?

Letterman: Vladmir Putin, have you ever met the guy?

Trump: He’s a tough guy. I met him once.

Letterman: He stole that guy, uh, Mr. Cross’s—

Trump: I don’t really think Bob… Bob Kraft’s a good friend of mine. I think–

Letterman: Oh I remember seeing you at a football game with him.

Trump: I’m with him all the time.

Letterman: And, yeah, remember with your hair with the woooo—

Trump: Yeah that’s right.

Letterman: Woooo—

Trump: Boy, do you have a memory. That’s right. Boy that was a really windy day in New England.

Letterman: Do we have that footage?

Trump: Oh no.

Letterman: But Vladmir Putin claims that he, uh, Bob Kraft says he just swiped his [Super Bowl] ring from him… How you been otherwise?

Trump: I’ve been good.

Also, as a bonus: Trump admits to his business dealings with the mob around the 6:30 mark. Despite that he “really tried to stay away from them as much as possible,” the future president implied that “growing up in New York and doing business in New York” put him in circumstances under which organized crime was unavoidable in real estate. “I would say there might have been one of those characters along the way,” Trump continued, “but generally speaking I like to stay away from that group… Although I must say I have met on occasion a few of those people. They happen to be very nice people. You just don’t want to owe them money.”

[screen shot: CBS]