From the time that reality show star Donald Trump rode down the escalator to declare his candidacy until January of 2016, just before the Republican primaries, he was still trying to build his dream tower in Moscow.
Felix Sater, Trump’s Russian-born, mob-connected former business adviser, wrote an email to Trump Organization Executive Director Michael Cohen in November 2015 predicting that Trump would close the Russian deal and win the presidency.
Reporters for the The Washington Post spoke to sources familiar with the contents of the emails, which “provide evidence that Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations.”
Sater wrote to Trump Organization Executive Vice President Michael Cohen “something to the effect of, ‘Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’ ” said one person briefed on the email exchange.
The emails add new context to what we already knew about the Trump Tower Moscow project. Sater confirmed its existence with TPM two weeks ago, explaining that the deal fell by the wayside after Trump began to focus on the presidential race.
“Once the campaign was really going-going, it was obvious there were going to be no deals internationally,” Sater said. “We were still working on it, doing something with it, November-December.”
The real estate and permits never came through and the project was set aside in January. But according to the Post, the emails “are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon” as they “also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.”
Trump repeatedly insisted during the campaign that he had “nothing to do with Russia” and “ZERO investments” there.
In fact, Trump has wanted to put his name on a Moscow skyscraper since before the fall of the Soviet Union, reviving his dream every few years without success.
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the recipient of Sater’s email, is also embroiled in his Russian influence scandals.
Cohen took part in efforts to transmit a bizarre, Russia-friendly “peace plan” for Ukraine to disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn earlier this year. He became a subject of congressional investigators thereafter.
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