Twitter Leaps on Trump Lawyer Caveat: #WithFewExceptions

Anything US President Donald Trump or anyone associated with him says will become a meme – with few exceptions.

A letter from Trump's lawyers Sheri Dillon and William Nelson regarding the president's financial ties to Russia that stated Trump had no income, equity, debt or investment from Russian sources with "few exceptions" – a caveat that has since gone viral. #Withfewexceptions became the number one trending topic on Twitter in the US on Friday and reached number three worldwide.

Because it involved Trump and Russia, the letter quickly became a Twitter meme, specifically the phrase "with few exceptions." Don&'t read too much into it; if a cat named Trump vomited in Moscow, the vomit would trend across the globe.

For the record, the "few exceptions" in question were three business dealings in the past 12 years. 

The first came in 2008, when Trump sold a 62,000 square foot Palm Beach mansion to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million, the biggest home sale in American history. 

Trump claims to have never met Rybolovlev, with the entire transaction conducted through intermediaries. 

Rybolovlev later tore the mansion down and sold the land.
The second came in 2013, when the now-infamous Miss Universe competition was held in a Moscow suburb. Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization operating company from 1996 to 2015, made a profit of about $12.2 million off the pageant.

And thirdly, to quote the letter, "it is likely that [the Trump Organization] or third-party entities engaged in ordinary course sales of goods or services to Russians or Russian entities, such as sales/rentals / fees for condominiums, hotel rooms, rounds of golf, books or Trump licensed products (e.g., ties, mattresses, wine, etc.)…With respect to this last exception the amounts are immaterial."

The exact amount of money this entails is virtually impossible to account for, but Trump's most recent financial disclosure from 2016 revealed that $152 million were collected in the rent or sales of condos. 

Presumably, some fraction of this comes from Russian buyers.

 For anyone keeping track, we've already had two Trump freakouts on Twitter, and it's not even noon.#tapes#WithFewExceptions

Anti-Trump media outlets brought up dealings not mentioned by the lawyers, such as the debt Trump owes to Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC, a company that he owns. 

There is no evidence to suggest that the LLC is associated with Russia or Russians.


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