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Foreign Influence

Did you doubt for a moment that Donald Trump’s political campaign was being either influenced or even controlled by foreigners?

The Telegraph (a conservative UK newspaper) sent undercover reporters to meet with Trump’s Super PAC, “Great America PAC”. The reporters posed as representatives of a (fictitious) Chinese donor, who wanted to donate $2 million to support Trump.

The SuperPAC was happy to accept the money, which is a violation of US laws prohibiting political donations from foreigners. They even suggested ways to launder the money through a third party to hide its origin. Seriously.

In addition, the representative of the SuperPAC assured the undercover reporters that their support would be “remembered” and would obtain “influence” if Trump became president. In other words, pay to play.

Trump has repeatedly labeled Super PACs a “disaster” that have “total control of the candidates”. He has also criticized Hillary Clinton for using them. Incidentally, the same undercover reporters tried to donate to Clinton’s Super PAC, but were ignored.

And of course, Trump has disparaged the Chinese and said they are destroying our country.

So, isn’t this an impeachable offense?



  1. Wildwood wrote:

    “So, isn’t this an impeachable offense?”

    Only if you are a Democrat.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I have no doubt that there are Republicans who — presuming Trump is elected — would be only too happy to impeach him and have Pence take over.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  3. I just check a number of news sites and this news isn’t on them. I read the Telegraph article and think this is something that should be run on every news outlet.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Ralph wrote:

    The fact that SuperPACs are a legal part of our political landscape at all is symptomatic of our broken electoral system and this won’t change until Citizens United is repealed. It’s no surprise that Trump and/or his campaign operatives would accept any and all monies that outside parties would offer, whether over or under the table, domestic or foreign. It also wouldn’t surprise me that they would be unaware foreign donations were illegal (of course, ignorance of the law is no excuse), given their general cluelessness about how to run an effective and above-board ground game, or even that foreign money and influence may have infected other candidates’ SuperPACs of which we are presently yet unaware.

    That being said, it doesn’t appear likely that this revelation is likely to noticeably move the needle in either direction. Barring any new explosive Wikileaks or Howard Stern tapes, the poll numbers would seem to be pretty much baked in and appears to point to a popular and electoral college vote upset of historic proportions.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  5. Wildwood wrote:

    I just posted it to FB. I want to see if I get any reaction from my sister-in-laws side of the family. It’s always fun to get them riled up.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ralph, I think it was pretty clear that they were aware of the law against foreign donations; that’s why they suggested laundering the money.

    However, I think it could be used against Trump. Just make a commercial showing Trump complaining about jobs being lost to China, followed by talking about him illegally taking money from China, and him using Chinese steel and other products.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  7. ebdoug wrote:

    Wildwood: keep us updated on the responses.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  8. Wildwood wrote:

    Unfortunately it got buried pretty fast. Must be a busy day on FB. Maybe they have all unfriended me. :). Or perhaps some have come to their senses. Doubt it.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  9. Ralph wrote:

    IK – yeah, on further reflection I would tend to agree that they were/are aware of the law. Guess I’ve come to expect the ignorance and incompetence we’ve seen to now as par for the course for that bunch, so just assume the worst. But it might take some doing and time to link Trump directly to the attempted donations and there is already so much lower hanging fruit to pick from with less than two weeks remaining to election day.

    I’ll be interested in learning the outcome of any investigation into that incident though. It’d be Trump’s well deserved comeuppance after all he’s put the country and his party through to be sued or even charged with a federal offence. And after listening to “lock her up” for weeks on end now, wouldn’t that be the sweetest irony?

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink