There Is No Evidence That “Trump Has Hundreds of Businesses in Russia”
Colin Taylor at Occupy Democrats writes in “An Investigation Just Found Trump Has Hundreds Of Businesses In Russia”:
Republican nominee Donald Trump continues to insist that he has absolutely no business ties to the Russian Federation, given that the Kremlin is actively working behind the scenes to support his flailing campaign. But new evidence unearthed by Democratic Coalition Against Trump has found 249 Trump-linked companies in Russian government paperwork.
As evidence he provides this list of Russian companies that have the word Трамп in their names.
The list is real enough, albeit many of these companies have been liquidated. No evidence has been provided that any of them are linked to Donald Trump. Russian companies often have “good-sounding” but nonsensical names, so finding among millions of companies something with “Трамп” as a part of the name doesn’t prove anything in itself. You will also find various “Trimps”, “Tremps” and “Tromps” - nonsensical, but nevertheless used.
Note that transliterating “Трамп” as “Trump” is also not quite correct unless one knows that specifically the surname is meant: by the normal transliteration rules these companies are called “… Tramp …”. While Trump in Russian is also Трамп, it doesn’t work equally in both directions. Indeed, one of the firms in the “English translation” is listed as “tramp.ru”.
The firms that I randomly checked out were small businesses with very small authorized capitals. For example “Olimpik Tramp 09”, which had something to do with renting of real estate, owned by Tamara Moskalenko, had an authorized capital of 10000 rubles in 2009, which is basically nothing. The profit in 2013 was 337000 rubles, about 8500$. I don’t think any comment is necessary.
Many of these companies were located in the Russian province, in places far away from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
Needless to say, the listed owners have nothing to do with Donald Trump either. E.g. the PDF document that Taylor links to (an excerpt from which is now all over the Twitter) has a “Tramp LLC” founded by M. M. Byatretdinov, V. A. Yelistratov, K. Ye. Nikolayev and A. A. Yusupov. The company is listed as having had something to do with agriculture/hunting/forestry.
Some were explicitly small family businesses, like the “Tramp” firm run by Mrs. Pavlyuchenkova (registered in 1993, liquidated in 2011). Most, if not all, don’t have anything to do with Trump’s areas of interest. Why would Donald Trump be interested in opening a tiny company in the far away Arkhangelsk that specializes in producing corrugated cardboard packaging (and again, note the “a” in the name of the website)? Here is a handy list of what appear to be currently active companies with “tramp” in the name. Handy, because you can see what area these businesses are active in (use google translate, etc.).
It is thus obvious that whoever made this list simply searched for “трамп” in a specialized Russian database and presented the raw search results as “proof”. Which no person who is both honest and rational would have done.
Now, there are two explanations for this: clinical idiocy and intentional deception. And frankly, it’s hard to imagine someone that stupid finding a Russian ЕГРЮЛ database, managing to run a search through it and summing up the results. So I’d say that people should take a long and hard look at the accounts that originated this disinformation. Because this looks like something a Russian troll aiming to discredit Trump’s critics would have done.