Administration

Trump business had additional contact with Russians during campaign: report

President Trump's company had additional, previously unreported contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential race, according to documents turned over to federal investigators, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The documents reveal two previously undisclosed communications between Trump associates and Russian officials that took place during the campaign.

The new revelations come as Trump faces scrutiny over his ties to Russia as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference.

In one exchange, Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, emailed a business associate, Felix Sater, weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention about traveling to an economic conference in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials would also be at the conference. Cohen turned down the invitation, according to the Post.

Cohen also received a proposal in late 2015 for a residential project in Moscow from a company founded by a former Russian politician and billionaire, Sergei Gordeev.

Cohen also rejected that business proposal.

"I did not accept this invitation," Cohen told The Post. "I have never been to Russia."

These new details were revealed in documents the Trump Organization handed over to the White House. The new interactions were shared with congressional investigators and Mueller, according to The Post.

Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garter told The Post that the proposed Moscow business deal had to be understood "in context" and that a "very small percentage of these proposals are ever pursued."

"Like any other international real estate brand, it is not uncommon for third party developers to submit proposals for potential real estate projects all over the world," he said.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb declined to comment to The Post.

The new revelations come as Trump faces scrutiny over his ties to Russia as part of Mueller's probe into Russian election interference.

This is the second possible Moscow business deal revealed to have been pitched to the Trump Organization during the campaign. The Post first reported in August that the Trump Organization tried to open a Trump Tower in Moscow after Trump had launched his presidential bid.

 

While the project never got off the ground, Sater, the same business associate who invited Cohen to the economic conference, promised Cohen in an email that he would get Putin to help Trump win the election if they agreed to the development deal.

Gordeez, the Russian billionaire who had served in the Russia Senate until 2010 and pitched the Moscow residential project, was in contact with Cohen and an international financier, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, through email about the plan.

Cohen reportedly told Rtskhiladze that the Trump Organization couldn't work on the project because they were already working with another developer in Russia, Rtskhiladze's spokesman told The Post.

A spokesman for Gordeev's business declined to comment to The Post.

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