“Trump's links with Russia begins with Russian oligarch money pouring into Trump's real estate and casino businesses. Many of them Trump has been working with for years, well before he developed any serious political ambitions. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Possibly even enough to keep Trump out of another bankruptcy.”
Donald Trump Jr. has already admitted the importance of Russian money to their business ventures. He said publicly in 2008 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."
And Trump Sr. spent decades pursuing — and publicly discussing —business ties in Russia, meaning that his claims to currently have “no connections to the country” strain credulity.
Note: Russian oligarchs only remain viable as long as they remain in Putin’s favor.
“Rise of Putin”