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Top Trump Fundraiser Vacationed with Russian Oligarch on Superyacht

May 5, 2022 1:39 pm Scott Stedman

A top financier for Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the legal charade to overturn the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election spent three days in 2019 on a now-seized superyacht owned by an influential Russian oligarch, Forensic News can reveal.

Photographs posted on Instagram from an account belonging to Bill White and a private account belonging to his husband Bryan Eure offer indisputable evidence that the two vacationed with Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko aboard his yacht, Sailing Yacht A, off the coast of Italy in summer 2019.

The trip raises questions about White’s “bundling” fundraising activity for Trump and the bogus “stop the steal” movement during the transition period in the winter of 2020. The full scope of the relationship between Melnichenko and White remains unclear, including the origins of the unusual relationship.

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For years, White was a fundraiser for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum before becoming its President. Since 2010, White has operated Constellations Group Ltd, a consultancy firm self-described as a “strategic business and partnerships development firm” catering to corporations and high net-worth individuals. The group has a history of controversial international business dealings. 

White has also been a longtime supporter of veterans’ causes, something he is known for on Capitol Hill.

He and his husband Bryan Eure were long-time high-profile Democratic fundraisers, hosting lavish events at their multimillion-dollar New York residences for then-President Obama, the Clintons, and other Democratic politicians. But on the night of the 2016 election, the New York Times reported, White and Eure decided to switch allegiances and began making inroads into the Trump inner circle. 

According to various reports and sources familiar with the matters, White quickly became a trusted voice within Trump’s team, particularly with Donald Trump Jr, Rudy Giuliani, and Ric Grenell. “Trump [Jr.] picks up on the first ring. If you want to get to Chelsea Clinton, you have to call through five people,” White told the New York Times in 2018.

When then-President Trump nominated Grenell as Ambassador to Germany in 2018, White and Eure threw a lavish party with notable high-profile GOP attendees. Later that year, the two held a fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign, allegedly fundraising $5 million.

Sailing with Andrey Melnichenko on Sailing Yacht A

In August 2019, In between dinners and meetings with members of the Trump team inside and outside of the administration, White and Eure had a rendezvous with one of Russia’s richest men aboard his $600 million yacht. 

Photos posted to Instagram show White and Eure aboard Sailing Yacht A, the most expensive yacht in the world, owned by Russian fertilizer and coal magnate Andrey Melnichenko. According to the photos, the top Trump fundraisers spent at least three days on the yacht just off the coast of Italy.

In one post commemorating the trip, White gushed over his “hosts” Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko and their prized possession, Sailing Yacht A. 

It IS the greatest Sailing Ship the world has ever seen. Bar none,” White wrote. 

“Simply stated we had the most amazing 3 days together. They [Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko] are two of the smartest, kindest, fascinating, truly attractive and extraordinary people we have ever met on this green earth. Attractive inside and out. We are in awe of their accomplishments and how much fun we all had during our stay. We learn so much from them every time we are with each other. Our gratitude, love, and respect to them, their beautiful children and family. Always. Love BnB.”

White's Instagram post about Melnichenko

White’s Instagram post about Melnichenko

Melnichenko did not appear in any of the photographs, but references to “A&A” by White and Eure confirm that the Russian billionaires were aboard the vessel. Contemporaneous tweets confirm that Sailing Yacht A was indeed off the coast of Italy during the relevant time. 

White and representatives for Melnichenko did not respond to requests for comment for this story and the exact relationship between the Trump fundraiser and the Russian oligarch remains uncertain. 

Following Trump’s decisive loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election, White quickly sprung into action in support of the efforts to overturn the will of the people. 

Less than 72 hours after the election White told the Washington Examiner that he had already raised $800,000 to fund Trump’s hopeless legal challenges. Days later, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election, White offered $1 million for evidence of “voter fraud.” No such evidence has ever been produced. 

In the days leading up to the violence at the Capitol largely fueled by a seditious conspiracy, White increasingly posted about an alleged stolen election, often using charged language and caps lock. His postings, radio interviews, and mentions from other Trump insiders, including Bernard Kerik, indicate that White was in close communication with Trump and his legal team.

Rudy [Giuliani], Bernie [Kerik], Sidney Powell, Joe DiGenova, [Trump’s] children, those are the people that I talk to,” White said (9:20) during one radio interview in December 2020.

White’s Tweets espoused conspiracy theories about the Dominion voting machines, called on Republican Congresspeople and Senators to object to the certification of Joe Biden as president, and spread the unfounded claim that members of Antifa participated in the Capitol riot. 

In one early January 2021 post that received nearly 10,000 likes, White wrote “JAN 6th will be an EPIC day in American history,” along with a photo of President Trump that is captioned, “Epic = President Trump remains President Trump.” 

On January 4th, White wrote, “If JAN 6 events aren’t ensuring @realDonaldTrump stays @POTUS – cancel them!”

As violence was beginning to erupt on the Capitol, White instructed followers to “PEACEFULLY” occupy the House and Senate. “FIGHT FOR TRUMP” he wrote.

White's January 6 tweet

White’s January 6 Tweet

By March 2021 archived screenshots of the account show that White’s Twitter account was shuttered before being rebranded.

In recent years, White has headed the Buckhead secession movement, an effort by the Buckhead district in Atlanta to secede from the city. White’s leadership has sparked heated debate in Atlanta, with some questioning his style and motives in pushing for such a move. Trump has endorsed White’s efforts.

Critics have suggested that White is profiting from his work as the CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, but he has strongly denied these allegations as his finances have come under a microscope.

White’s newly discovered relationship with Andrey Melnichenko, however, may reignite the debate. 

The political operative recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had raised “about $2 million” for the movement. But, the Journal-Constitution noted, “the committee has released few details about its finances, donors, salaries and other expenses.”

Melnichenko was sanctioned by the EU, UK, Switzerland, and Australia shortly after Russia’s brazen and illegal war in Ukraine. Italy swiftly seized Melnichenko’s $600 million floating palace – Sailing Yacht A. 

In sanctioning Melnichenko, the EU said that the billionaire had “close connections” to the Russian government. It cited Melnichenko’s presence at a February 24th meeting with 36 other Russian businesspeople and Vladimir Putin where the group discussed the impact of sanctions.

Putin's "all-hands" oligarch meeting, February 24, 2022

Putin’s “all-hands” oligarch meeting, February 24, 2022

The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” the EU stated. 

So-called “all-hands” oligarch meetings were illuminated in the Mueller report (p. 146) by Alfa Bank co-owner Petr Aven. Aven told the FBI that Putin regularly called approximately 50 oligarchs together and that he understood suggestions from Putin to be “implicit directives.” Aven further stated that he would face consequences if he did not follow Putin’s instructions. 

The February all-hands meeting came just hours after Russia launched its illegal war in Ukraine. Some of the oligarchs were reportedly stunned at the news of Putin’s decision. “Some of them could not even speak.” one of the participants of the meeting told the Washington Post. True to form, Putin arrived more than two hours late.


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