(Salon) -- A dark cloud of illegitimacy hangs over the pending presidency of Donald Trump. Consider:
1. The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the election in order to help Trump become president. The secret CIA assessment found that Russian operatives covertly interfered in the election campaign in an attempt to ensure the Republican candidate’s victory.
2. Trump has close business ties to Russian oligarchs, friends of Putin, who have financed his projects and, presumably, also lent billions of dollars to Trump’s enterprises — which may explain why Trump won’t disclose his tax returns, which would show evidence of these deals.
Advertisement - story continues below
3. Several of Trump’s key campaign aides have close ties to Putin — including his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Manafort was a longtime consultant to Viktor Yanukovich, the Russian-backed president of Ukraine who was overthrown in 2014 and who has done multi-million-dollar business deals with Russian oligarchs. Between 2007 and 2012, Manafort received some $12.7 million in cash payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.