Please, drop the meme about Trump being “converted”. It’s like saying that a tiger has been “brainwashed” to eat meat. He and his advisers already had a 30-year history of business with R*ussia (and other countries), what else to expect?
Perhaps it was around the time when Trump took his Miss Universe pageant to Moscow on November 9, 2013.
Perhaps, it’s not a very trivial task to take your Miss Universe pageant to beautiful Moscow. He was most likely approached by an agent, a storefront for the investors, who convinced him to come.
The coming together of Trump’s business and political agendas was evident during his 2013 Moscow trip, in which he was seeking deals at the same time he was starting to ponder a presidential run.
The pageant was brought to Moscow by the R*ussian real estate developers Agalarov (“wealthy developers who have received several contracts for state-funded construction projects, a sign of their closeness to the Putin government”) and other investors, and Trump also partied with other oligarchs there. For rich people in the autocratic country, they have to be either loyal to the ruler or go to jail. Trump didn’t have to be brainwashed, just make good friends, they all are pretty much the same type. Politics for them is about making money. I did a little bit of googling, Agalarov Jr (besides being a businessman) is a singer… cute, but lacking talent. It’s like a trend now for the elites, pretend to be a self-made person, whether with cheesy songs or stolen shoe design or fake reality shows or corrupt deals or a “people’s president”. But their protector goes down, the fakery goes down.