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On Russia, did Trump's business and policy converge?

December 01,2018 06:20

And Mr. Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about some of the president's business ties to Russia. That's his former personal lawyer. For some context, two reporters tracking the business and national security ...


Matea Gold:
Sure.
So, the 2016 effort was really a capstone on a 30-year quest by Donald Trump to bring his brand to Moscow. He and his then wife, Ivana, actually traveled to the then Soviet Union in 1987 to scout out locations for a possible Trump Tower, Trump development.
And over the years, he repeatedly tried to make a deal happen. It just never could get done. The 2015-2016 endeavor was very interesting, because even months after he famously came down the golden escalator and announced his candidacy for president, in October 2015, Trump signed a letter of intent to continue searching for a deal in Russia.
And we know that his personal attorney Michael Cohen really made it a mission to make that happen. Now, Cohen had originally told Congress that effort was dead essentially in January of 2016, just as Trump's candidacy was really getting going and starting to take hold.
And he said that his efforts to reach a top aide to Putin never got a response. Now, we learned this week that those were actually false statements, that, in fact, he spoke to a personal assistant to a top Putin aide for at least 20 minutes in January about help securing financing and land for a project.
And for the next six months, he and Felix Sater, his partner in the effort, continued to discuss the project, and he discussed the project with members of Trump's family and the president.

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