A prominent golf writer says Eric Trump, one of President Trump’s sons, once claimed their family took money from Russians to fund their golf courses.
James Dodson recounted the alleged encounter Friday on the Boston radio station WBUR, claiming Trump dropped that would-be bombshell in 2014.
Dodson, who co-authored Arnold Palmer’s biography “A Golfer’s Life,” said he met with Donald Trump that year at the businessman’s golf club in North Carolina. Trump nonchalantly remarked that he “had access to $ 100 million” for golf courses, Dodson said.
Dodson said he asked Eric Trump about that cash when the two of them hit the links.
“When I got in the cart with Eric, as we were setting off, I said, ‘Who’s funding?’” Dodson said in the interview.
“I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. No one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years. And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. 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.’”
Speaking to the Daily News, Dodson said Trump was “simple and casual” about the Russia relationship.
“It was a casual remark, it was just two guys golfing and talking,” Dodson said.
“I’m sure he didn’t think anything about it. Why would he think anything about it?”
Dodson said he did not doubt the story because it is common for Russians to invest in golf courses, and because Trump was opening clubs at a time when few other moguls still did so.
But Dodson said he has seen no other evidence of Russians swinging cash to Trump’s clubs.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Trump’s other adult son, Donald Jr., once dropped a similar remark about taking funds from Russia.
At a 2008 real estate conference, Donald Jr. told the crowd that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”
“We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Donald Trump’s political career has been shrouded with questions about his mysterious affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his contradictory statements about deals with Russia. Trump has most recently claimed to have no ties to Russia, despite references years ago to meetings with Putin and business deals in the country.
The FBI is investigating Trump’s campaign for alleged collusion with the Russian government during the presidential campaign.