Mitch McConnell Caught In Pay For Play Scheme With Russian Oligarch

None of these are coincidences.

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If there is any single thing that most characterizes both the Trump administration and the Republican Party since the dawn of the Trump era, it’s suddenly discovering the motivations behind otherwise inexplicable acts and activities.

We found out that Trump picked Mike Pence because Paul Manafort told him to. We found out Mike Flynn lied to the FBI because Pence told him to. We found out that Trump and his then-lawyer Michael Cohen were lying through the entire beginning of his presidency about Trump Tower Moscow, hush money payments, and a host of other behaviors that were at least unethical and at most highly illegal because they honestly thought they were going to get away with it.


But as far as GOP members of the House and Senate, it’s almost been a little easier to pick apart what their motivations have been: Over and over, they have enjoyed some benefit from Russia. House leadership, when it was under Republican control, even joked about a Congressman (and Trump) being paid by Russia.

The far more powerful Senate, however, is a different story.


Finding out that a Senator is in thrall to a hostile foreign adversary is more than a little disturbing, and yet we find ourselves reaching that conclusion again and again with some of the most powerful Republican Senators — including the Majority Leader.

This time around, we’re now finding out that Rusal, the giant Russian aluminum company, is suddenly planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the state of Kentucky in the form of a new aluminum rolling mill — the largest new plant for aluminum in the United States in almost 40 years.

But just to save you a little bit of time reading what I’m certain you’d have found to be gripping details, let’s just get to the brass tacks:

  • Rusal is owned by Oleg Deripaska, a name you should at least be familiar with by now
  • Deripaska is the Russian oligarch who is partnered with Len Blavatnik, who gave millions and millions to Republican candidates in 2016, including McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and a host of others
  • Deripaska was under sanctions until Mitch McConnell made clear he intended to force through legislation that would lift them
  • The Trump administration did exactly that in January
  • McConnell represents Kentucky
  • Now so does Deripaska

Just to be clear, McConnell and Deripaska will BOTH stand to gain quite a bit from this, so it’s not like it’s an outright favor.

It will, however, get Mitch reelected.

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Calum Stuart