Around 1973, Donald Trump begins offering support and millions of dollars to FBI agents, establishing a friendship with the organization that will someday have to investigate him.
James Kallstrom, a junior agent at the bureau, is organizing a parade for Vietnam veterans in New York when Donald Trump introduces himself–and his wallet. Trump ends up paying for most of the event, and Kallstrom becomes a lifelong friend.
That friendship comes in handy and extends to others as time goes on. In the ’80s, Kallstrom works closely on the Cosa Nostra case with Rudy Giuliani, then-U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. By the mid-1990s, Kallstrom is running the FBI’s New York office and overseeing investigations into both the Italian mafia and Russian mafia. In 1995, he establishes the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Donald Trump donates $1.3 million.
Kallstrom isn’t the only agent that Trump befriends, according to investigative reporters like Jeff Stein.
As far as we know, Donald Trump never becomes an official informant for the FBI. Instead, he becomes a “hip pocket” source — someone who agents would rely on as a “friend” but who was never listed as an official source in FBI files. The Soviet Union’s KGB has a title for people in positions like Trump’s: a “trusted contact.”
As Trump’s business booms and Russian mafia members use his properties as hideouts and for money laundering, Trump himself is never targeted by the FBI, and the bureau lets some of his transnational criminal partners off the hook. Some are wrongfully written off as having no ties to organized crime. Others are recruited as official informants.
Knowing all we know about Trump’s early ties to the FBI, one has to wonder: where was this information in the Mueller report, and why did James Comey help the Trump campaign?
Craig Unger, American Kompromat, p.55-58
An American Affair: Donald Trump and the FBI (2020), documentary
Photo 1: Marija Zaric
Photo 2: Public Domain