Trump-Russia Business Ties and Financial Dealings

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  one month ago  •  16 comments

By:   John Haltiwanger, Sonam Sheth (Business Insider)

Trump-Russia Business Ties and Financial Dealings
Former President Donald Trump has a long, complex history of attempting to break into the real estate world in Russia.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump and Aras Agalarov attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. Victor Boyko/Getty Images

  • Former President Donald Trump has often claimed he has "nothing to do with Russia," but that's far from the truth.
  • Trump's efforts to lay down his name in the Russian capital stretch back more than 30 years.
  • His most recent attempt to break ground in Moscow was a long process that reportedly lasted well into the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that he has no financial interests in Russia.

"Russia has never tried to use leverage over me," he tweeted in January 2017. "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

But a glimpse at his actions over the last few decades paints a quite different picture, one that shows a concerted effort by the real-estate mogul to lay a foundation for the Trump name in the heart of Moscow.

Trump's business ties to Russia jumped back into the spotlight in late 2018, after his former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted that he lied to Congress about the extent of the Trump Organization's push to open a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 election.

Prosecutors said Cohen "discussed the status and progress of the Moscow Project" with Trump "on more than the three occasions Cohen claimed" to the Senate Intelligence Committee last year and that "he briefed family members" of Trump within the Trump Organization about it.

They also said Cohen admitted to pursuing the deal as late as June 2016, after Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

After Cohen's stunning revelations about the timeline of discussions on building Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump tweeted that he "lightly looked" at "doing a building somewhere in Russia." But the president added that he "didn't do the project" and claimed he made no verbal or financial commitments. The defunct Moscow project is just the latest in a long history of the president trying — and failing — to make his mark in the Russian capital.

Around the same time the Trump Organization was exploring real estate projects in Moscow, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower in New York City, fishing for dirt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The US intelligence community concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and sought to boost Trump's chances of winning. Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference did not uncover enough evidence to level conspiracy charges against the Trump campaign, but did conclude members of Trump's campaign welcomed the Kremlin's interference.

According to a new report in the Guardian — based on documents the publication and experts it consulted assessed to be leaked from the Kremlin — the Russian president, his spy chiefs, and top advisors met in January 2016 and concluded that a Trump victory would be beneficial to Moscow's strategic interests. The report states that the documents point to compromising material the Kremlin had on Trump (kompromat), but does not expand on what that might be.

Here's a rundown of Trump's business dealings in Russia and with its citizens:

  • Trump's interest in doing business in Russia was first piqued in 1986, when he met the Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin and they began discussing building a "large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in partnership with the Soviet government," as Trump recounted in his 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal."
  • Trump traveled to Russia in 1987 to survey potential locations for his hotel as landmark policies like perestroika and glasnost made the Soviet Union more open to foreign investments.
  • Trump in 1988 said the hotel plan failed because "in the Soviet Union, you don't own anything. It's hard to conjure up spending hundreds of millions of dollars on something and not own."
  • Trump went back to Russia in 1996 and announced a plan to invest $250 million in Russian real estate and slap his name on two luxury residential buildings.
  • Trump boasted about his plan when he met the Russian politician Aleksandr Lebed in New York in 1997, telling Lebed, "We are actually looking at something in Moscow right now ... Only quality stuff. And we're working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow, and the mayor's people. So far, they've been very responsive ..." The plan never came to fruition.
  • But that wasn't the end of Trump's connection to Russian money. According to The Washington Post, the real estate mogul began seeing significant returns from Russian investments in US properties bearing the Trump name in the 2000s.
  • A Reuters investigation last year found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, for instance.
  • Reuters noted that its tally of Russian investors may be conservative. At least 703 — or about one-third — of the owners of the 2,044 units in the seven Trump buildings are limited liability companies, or LLCs, which have the ability to hide the identity of a property's true owner.
  • In the mid-2000s, the Trump Organization partnered with a company called the Bayrock Group, contracting it to pursue a development deal in Moscow. This effort was led by the Russian-born businessman Felix Sater, who's become a key figure in Mueller's investigation and Cohen's plea deal.
  • In 2005, Sater found a former pencil factory he thought could be converted into a high-end skyscraper, and was in discussions with Russian investors about it. The deal ultimately fell through, but Sater continued to maintain a relationship with the Trump Organization.
  • At a real estate conference in 2008, Donald Trump Jr. discussed the family's attempts to break into the Russian business world. "As much as we want to take our business over there, Russia is just a different world," he said at the time. "It is a question of who knows who, whose brother is paying off who...It really is a scary place." Trump Jr. at that point had traveled to Russia a number of times, including a 2006 visit with Sater his sister, Ivanka Trump, and Sater.
  • At the 2008 conference, Trump Jr. also said, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets." He explained that despite the difficulties his family had in trying to build in Russia they were still determined to keep pushing for it. In the 18 months prior to the conference, Trump Jr. made six trips to Russia.
  • In 2013, Trump traveled to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. During the visit, he said, "I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper."
  • In 2015 and 2016, Cohen and Sater teamed up in an attempt to put up a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen said discussions on the plan lasted until June 2016, which was after Trump had clinched the GOP nomination for president.
  • Cohen was in touch with the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary over the matter, which reportedly included a plan to offer Putin a $50 million penthouse in the tower. Those talks fell through as well and the plan eventually crumbled.

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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    one month ago

Beginning by at least 2014 Trump was in secret negotiations with Vladimir Putin to build Trump Tower Moscow. Negotiations that continued right up to election day in 2016. Of course the CIA and FBI investigated. Not to have would've been negligent.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago

Pretty funny comment--unsupported, of course, by your seeded article.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1    one month ago

That is incorrect. Did you even read the article?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1.1.1    one month ago

I read your article.

Do quote the part where the FBI and CIA are said to have investigated.

Just quote it for me.

And when you fail at that, please admit your post is what is incorrect.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
2  Just Jim NC TttH    one month ago

Again jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2    one month ago

Cracks me up no end to see the same drivel posted over and over again.

Even IF the "FBI and CIA" investigated, WTF did they FIND???
Not a damn thing to charge Trump with, so who the FUCK cares besides Trump-haters?

It is nothing but nonsense!

It does appear he might be having difficulty finding the quote for me from his article stating the FBI and CIA investigated Trump. I even went back and read the article AGAIN to see if I missed it.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
2.1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    one month ago
Cracks me up no end to see the same drivel posted over and over again.

I'm wondering who he's trying to convince.  

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3  Greg Jones    one month ago

After all these years...no indictments, charges, or convictions....and nobody really gives a shit

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @3    one month ago

This is currently an issue because John Durham is claiming Hillary Clinton was responsible for Trump getting investigated by the CIA and FBI in the Fall of 2016, when the investigations began years earlier. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3.1    one month ago
This is currently an issue because John Durham is claiming Hillary Clinton was responsible for Trump getting investigated by the CIA and FBI in the Fall of 2016, when the investigations began years earlier. 

This is an issue for ONLY you.

Everyone else knows better.

Any luck yet on finding the part in the article that says the FBI and CIA were investigating Trump yet?

I swear I read the article twice and can't see it!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.1    one month ago
This is an issue for ONLY you.

If it is only an issue for JBB, why is Durham investigating?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.2    one month ago
If it is only an issue for JBB, why is Durham investigating?

You really should read my post before responding.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.3    one month ago
You really should read my post before responding.

I did, and I quoted the paragraph that I replied to, just so you wouldn't get confused.  But I guess you still are.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.4    one month ago
I did, and I quoted the paragraph that I replied to

I know what you quoted.

Quoting and understanding are two different things.

One has to read and understand more than one quoted line.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.5    one month ago
One has to read and understand more than one quoted line.

Well since your paragraph consisted of only one line, perhaps you should put more time and thought into what you write down, so you can better summarize what you are attempting to say.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @3.1.6    one month ago

Amazingly enough, there is more than one paragraph in my post.

Perhaps you chose to overlook them to "own a conservative".

Epic failure, however.

 
 

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