The Slatest

Eric Trump Allegedly Said in 2014 That Russians Fund Trump Golf Courses

Eric Trump at the Eric Trump Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester—yes, Trump at Trump at Trump—on Sept. 15, 2014, in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Golf writer James Dodson has an interesting story to tell about the Trump family, and he seems to have waited quite a bit of time to tell it. Dodson claims that three years ago, President Donald Trump’s son Eric told him that all the financing for the family company’s golf courses came from Russia. Dodson made the explosive revelation during an interview with Boston’s WBUR in which he describes meeting Donald Trump, who was apparently insistent that the famed golf writer play at his then-new Charlotte, North Carolina, golf course.

Dodson, who co-wrote Arnold Palmer’s memoir, obviously knew about Trump but wasn’t too keen to meet him in person. After much insisting, he relented and joined Trump at his North Carolina course. For the beginning of the game, Dodson was assigned to play with Eric Trump, and the golf writer asked him the question that was foremost in his mind: How were they getting the money for this? The answer was fascinating. Dodson tells the story:

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.

Reached by the Daily News, Dodson said Trump was “simple and casual” when he mentioned the Russia connection. “It was a casual remark; it was just two guys golfing and talking,” Dodson said. “I’m sure he didn’t think anything about it. Why would he think anything about it?”

Trump has long said he doesn’t have ties to Russia, but his older son, Donald Jr., also once commented about the Trump Organization’s reliance on Russian funding. At a 2008 real estate conference, he said that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”