On Friday, an NPR station posted a big scoop from journalist James Dodson, who once covered a Donald Trump golf outing: Eric Trump had said that Russia was a major source of funding for the Trump Organization. The report posted by WBUR's Bill Littlefield noted the following:
"So when I got in the cart with Eric," Dodson says, "as we were setting off, I said, 'Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, 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.' Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting."
Two days later, Trump the younger told the New York Post, "We own our courses free and clear," adding “It’s a recollection from some guy three years ago through a third person." Eric Trump added on Twitter on Monday that the story was "just another example of why there is such a deep distrust of the media."
Dodson's claim happens to have been corroborated perfectly by Eric Trump's brother, Donald Trump Jr., who in 2008 said, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," USA Today noted. The paper added that a number of Trump projects have been funded by Russian backers — so financing a golf course isn't that much of a stretch.
But the Trump way has been to claim news stories as fake news, without evidence to back up counterclaims. And there's an easy solution here, one that would let the Trump Organization officials say that they have been wronged.
Release Trump's taxes.