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US committee examining claim of Russian mafia money link to Trump's Doonbeg golf course

The committee is investigating the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

Image: Niall Carson via PA Images

US CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS have been questioning whether Russian money could have been used by US President Donald Trump’s family business to fund his Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare.

The US House Intelligence Committee has released a transcript of a sworn testimony by Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose firm Fusion GPS conducted research on Trump’s campaign, which resulted in a dossier about his links to Russia.

The committee is currently investigating the alleged collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence agents during the 2016 US election.

The transcript has revealed Simpson had investigated connections between Russian mafia money and Trump’s golf courses in Ireland and Scotland.

Simpson testified that he had investigated a claim by the president’s son Eric Trump that the Trump Organization had access to unlimited sums of Russian money available for the family’s golf courses.

“We saw what Eric Trump said about Russian money being available for the golf course projects making remarks about having unlimited sums available,” Simpson testified.

And, you know, because Mr Trump’s companies are generally not publicly traded and don’t do a lot of public disclosure, we can only look – have a limited look into the financing of those projects.
But because the Irish course and the Scottish course are under UK, you know, Anglo corporate law, they file financial statements, so we were able to get the financial statements.

Simpson noted that while the statements don’t “on their face” show Russian involvement, they do show “enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources”.

“At least on paper, it says it’s from the Trump Organization, but it’s hundreds of millions of dollars. And these golf courses are just, you know, they’re sinks. They don’t actually make any money,” he said.

Simpson said that he based his suspicions on the fact that Trump is a billionaire – as he has claimed to be – and therefore there was “good reason” to believe he doesn’t have enough money to fund his Irish and Scottish golf courses and would “have had to have outside financial support for these things”.

He said that a lot of his work is to examine public records and to examine whether things make sense and whether they can be justified and explained.

In relation to Irish and Scottish golf course funding, Simpson said: “That didn’t make sense to me, doesn’t make sense to me to this day.”

President Trump resigned as a board member of TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd days prior to being sworn in as US President last January.

However, the accounts confirm that the US President retains his 100% shareholding in the Doonbeg company.

As a result of the ongoing investment, the company’s net assets last year increased by €2.3m going from €17.4m to €19.7m. The company’s cash pile increased from €211,425 to €249,446.

Numbers employed by the company last year increased from 180 to 200 with staff costs last year increasing from €4.66m to €5.26m.

Read: US government shuts down as last-ditch attempt to secure funding deal fails

More: Trump says his plan for border wall has never changed after aide called it ‘uninformed’

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