Courtesy of WaPo:
While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers.
As part of the discussions, a Russian-born real estate developer urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested that he could get President Vladimir Putin to say “great things” about Trump, according to several people who have been briefed on his correspondence.
The developer, Felix Sater, predicted in a November 2015 email that he and Trump Organization leaders would soon be celebrating — both one of the biggest residential projects in real estate history and Donald Trump’s election as president, according to two of the people with knowledge of the exchange.
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. Sater emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union when he was 6 and grew up in Brooklyn.
The deal did not go through only because they lacked the land and permits to make it happen.
The deal was abandoned in January 2016, just before the presidential primaries.
So, yes, there was a deal with the Russians being actively pursued even AFTER Trump announced he was running for president.
Personally I think that there are a whole lot of business deals with the Russians, besides the ones we know about, that will soon bubble to the surface.
UPDATE: Remember when T-Rump walked out of an interview when he was asked about Sater?
Felix Sater, a Trump-linked Russian-born businessman who in 1998 pleaded guilty to taking part in a mafia-related stock fraud scheme, is at the center of the latest revelations surrounding the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian government officials to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The most recent revelations about Sater are newly unearthed emails that show Sater boasting to longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen that he could get the Russian government’s help to “engineer” a Trump election victory if the then-candidate agreed to a deal to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow.
“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in one email to Cohen. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
Trump has worked with Sater for years, despite the fact that he took part in a $40 million mob-related stock scam. Back in 2013, British program BBC Panorama directly asked Trump why he was still doing real estate deals with Sater, and Trump frantically tried to deflect the question before walking out of the interview all together.
“Well, first of all, we were not in business together, that was a licensing deal,” Trump said.
“But your name’s on it, Mr. Trump!” replied reporter Jon Sweeney.
“Excuse me, but I don’t know, you’re telling me things that I don’t even know about,” Trump replied. “I mean, you’re telling me about Felix Sater. I know who he is…”
Sweeney then interrupted him.
“But for a year, you stayed in bed with Felix Sater, and he was connected with the mafia!” Sweeney pressed.
“Again, Jon, maybe you’re thick, but when you have a signed contract, you can’t, in this country, just break it,” Trump replied. “And by the way, Jon, I hate to do this, but I do have that big group of people waiting, so I have to go.”
Trump at that point got up and walked out of the interview.
Sater’s financial relationship with Trump dates back to at least 2003, when the Trump Organization rented out office space to Sater’s former company.
Even though Trump initially tried to distance himself from Sater after news of his criminal past came to light in 2007, he subsequently tapped Sater in 2010 to scout out real estate. Additionally, Sater presented clients with business cards that claimed he was a senior adviser to Trump, and his office was on the same floor as Trump’s office in Trump Tower.
UPDATE: T-Rump said “I have no business deals with Russia.” But he had just signed a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Four months into his campaign for president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a “letter of intent” to pursue a Trump Tower-style building development in Moscow, according to a statement from the then-Trump Organization Chief Counsel Michael Cohen.
The involvement of then-candidate Trump in a proposed Russian development deal contradicts repeated statements Trump made during the campaign, including telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in July 2016 that his business had “no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”
The disclosure from Cohen, who has described himself as Trump’s personal lawyer, came as Cohen’s attorney gave congressional investigators scores of documents and emails from the campaign, including several pertaining to the Moscow development idea.
Cohen specifically says in his statement that Trump was told three times about the Moscow proposal.
Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/trump-knew-moscow-tower-proposal-campaign-lawyer/story?id=49472342