President Donald Trump’s son Eric told golf reporter James Dodson three years ago that the family’s company got much of its funding to build its golf courses from Russia, according to an interview Dodson gave to WBUR on Friday.
Dodson said he was visiting the Trump National Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, after Trump’s public-relations representative invited him there.
When Dodson got there, he told WBUR, “Trump was strutting up and down, talking to his new members about how they were part of the greatest club in North Carolina.”
And when Dodson asked Donald Trump how he managed to secure funding for his courses, he said he had access to $100 million.
Dodson recalled that when he then asked Eric Trump to explain where the $100 million came from, Eric said the company wasn’t relying on American banks for the funding because American banks had been reluctant to put money into golf courses after the recession.
“We have all the funding we need out of Russia,” Eric reportedly said.
“Really?” Dodson recalled answering.
“Oh, yeah,” he said Eric Trump answered. “We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.”
Donald Trump’s campaign associates and his businesses have repeatedly come under fire since the 2016 campaign and election over questions of their ties to Russia.
Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign in February after it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he’d had with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any current or future Justice Department investigations into the Trump campaign after it was reported that he, too, had repeated contacts with Russian officials.
An unverified dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia included an explosive allegation that Trump’s campaign agreed to minimize US opposition to the Kremlin’s aggressiveness toward Ukraine if the Kremlin released negative information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
A Reuters investigation in March also found that more than 60 people with Russian ties had invested almost $100 million in seven Trump properties in southern Florida.