"Follow the money" is basically right up there with "Cherchez la femme" for getting to the heart of the plot of most weird capers--the apparent weirdness in the Trump/Russia orbit definitely seems to be a "follow the money" story. Take "Most Likely to Be indicted Soon if He isn't Already Singing Like a Nightingale", former general Mike Flynn. He seems to have at one point been working out a caper in which a green card- holding Turkish expatriate would be forcibly extradited to Turkey, for which Flynn and his son, Mike Flynn, Jr., would get a pay out of $15 million.
Okay, if you're a TrumpWorld Grab-Bag aficionado, that knowledge doesn't seem all that brand-new to you. And if you're paying attention, that does mean that both Mike Flynn and son were on the Trump transition team contemporaneously with this stupid and not terribly-American thing being cooked-up, and yes, you probably have heard before that Congresscritter Devin Nunes was at a breakfast where...
Well, yeah. That was rumored about before. But now it looks like an actual investigation into all that has fallen into Robert Mueller's purview. So. This would be an investigation Nunes can't interfere with or try to squirt squid-ink on.
But, of course, the same thing can be said about recently indicted Paul Manafort (whose former son-in-law also appears to be in some kind of legal jeopardy regarding financial shenanigans) who seems to have been doing some money laundering, possibly in connection with his work for the Putin-friendly Ukrainian regime of Viktor Yanukovych. In pursuit of this investigation, Mueller recently received relevant bank records having to do with the Bank of Cyprus. Which is so weird, because, coincidentally, Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whom Trump has known for 20+ years, also is connected with Bank of Cyprus and Russia. He's also not a real billionaire, apparently.
It's a small freakish world, that's all I have to say.
But anyhow, some of that financial jiggery-pokery and off-shore investment stuff that Manafort is suspected of playing with, seems to be what was funding Steve Bannon's early anti-Hillary Clinton smears, some of which, though oft-debunked, stay wingnut currency to this very day. This is because the money was coming from the Mercers (the recently-retired Robert and the recently upgraded Bekah) and they (rather like the Koch brothers, come to think of it) hate paying taxes.
Which might explain why Cambridge Analytica made moves to coordinate with Julian Assange. Especially since, if they talked to any of the folks in the Trump Campaign who were in contact with Russia and knew that the DNC hack was Russian and had reason to believe that WikiLeaks was the front for the eventual "leaks", they knew this could be paid back with a successful Trump win, since he would try tax reform. You know, the thing McConnell and Ryan seem to be willing to accept any amount of bullshit to pull off.
I don't know if any recent interview with Stephen Miller might illuminate the Carter Page/George Papadopoulos all that much. That doesn't look to be about money, so much as love of the game. But what a dumb, sordid, not especially American, grifting game it seems to be!
In a sidenote that has nothing to do with money at all, former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller recently explained that, while he doesn't know of any activity between Trump and prostitutes, prostitutes were definitely on offer in his 2013 trip. He doesn't think anything happened, but hey! Man's gotta sleep sometime!
There certainly seems to be all kinds of leverage in this world. Money is one. Pride is another. But we're closing in to the real "money" question: What did Trump know about all this, if he ever did, and when?