For months, Americans have been trying to figure out what caused Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suddenly became President Donald Trump’s most fervent defender after being one of his most fierce critics. Recent reports suggest that Russian money could be behind Graham’s baffling defense of the fraudulent president.
A report by The Intellectualist revealed that Graham has received at least $800,000 in campaign donations from a man with ties to Putin-allied oligarchs.
Another report by The Dallas Morning News detailed the donations from Len Blavatnik, “one of the largest donors to GOP political action committees.”
Citing data from the Federal Election Commission, the report revealed that Blavatnik’s Blavatnik pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.
In 2017, Blavatnik contributed over $800,000 to the Security is Strength PAC, associated with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., via Access Industries.
Blavatnik and oligarch Viktor Vekselberg own a 20.5% stake in Rusal, oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company, which was under U.S. sanctions until Sen. Mitch McConnell, along with President Trump, strong-armed the Senate to remove the sanctions.
Rusal is owned by Putin’s state-controlled bank, VTB, which is currently under U.S. sanctions. VTB was exposed in the Panama Papers in 2016 for facilitating the flow of billions of dollars to offshore companies linked to Putin.
In total, Blavatnik and his Russian allies made a $10.4 million in political contributions to Republicans from the start of the 2015-16 election cycle through September 2017. Experts who follow the activities of Russian oligarchs told ABC News that they believe the contributions from Blavatnik and other Russian oligarchs warrant intense scrutiny because they have worked closely with Vekselberg.
Yup. This definitely explains why Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell have been circling President Trump’s swamp.
—Corrections: We originally listed Sen. Lindsey Graham as (R-NC). That was a mistake. It Should have been (R-SC).