Trump eyed Moscow business deal during campaign

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 29, 2017

He added that "to the best of my knowledge", Trump "was never in contact with anyone about this project other than me".

The development comes as federal and congressional investigators probe Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.

This is the first time that the proposed real estate project in Moscow by the Trump Organization is being revealed.

Cohen has been one of Trump's closest aides for more than a decade.

A plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow never came about.

"The Trump Tower Moscow proposal was not related in any way to Mr. Trump's presidential campaign", Cohen said. He said he told Sater Trump would not go to Russian Federation without a "definitive agreement" in place.

"Our boy can become president of the U.S. and we can engineer it", Sater wrote in one of the emails, which were disclosed by The New York Times on Monday. "I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this, I will manage this process".

Cohen played down Sater's unusual claims in his statement to the Intelligence Committee. The email was sent by Michael Cohen, a high ranking Trump Organization executive.

"It should come as no surprise that, over four decades, the Trump Organization has received and reviewed countless real estate development opportunities, both domestic and worldwide", Cohen said in a statement to the Post.

Sater acted as a "deal broker" for the Moscow project, serving as an intermediary between the Trump Organization and a Russian real estate development company that planned to license the Trump name, Cohen said. According to Cohen, he told Trump that he was working on a licensing deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2015 and received Trump's signature on a letter of intent for the project in October of that year.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman later added that Cohen emailed Peskov at a general press address, not his personal email address.

Cohen said he did not recall Peskov or any other Russian official sending a reply.

Cohen told the Journal he had only emailed Peskov "since the proposal would require approvals within the Russian government that had not been issued", and that Sater "constantly asked me to travel to Moscow".

A decade ago, Sater was an executive at Bayrock Group LLC, a development company that leased space in Trump Tower and partnered with him on Trump projects in Manhattan, Phoenix and elsewhere.

Sater became an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant after he was convicted years later in a $40 million stock fraud scheme. He denied delivering the document, and the White House said it had no record of receiving it.

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