White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump connected President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, with a Russian who offered help with a Moscow Trump Tower, BuzzFeed News reported.
According to sources and emails reviewed by the news outlet, Ivanka Trump communicated with an athlete during the presidential campaign who had offered to introduce President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin to facilitate the building of a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Ivanka Trump told Cohen he should speak with the former Olympic weightlifter, Dmitry Klokov, in November 2015 and Cohen then had at least one conversation with him, according to sources who spoke with BuzzFeed.
The bodybuilder reportedly told Cohen in an email that he could set up a meeting between President Trump and Putin to facilitate building the Moscow Trump Tower, but Cohen later refused and said the Trump Organization already had an agreement and that he would stop communicating with Klokov.
The emails showed that Klokov lashed out at Cohen and questioned his authority to make decisions for the Trump Organization. Ivanka Trump was also frustrated at Cohen’s refusal to communicate with Klokov, according to BuzzFeed.
Cohen had separately negotiated an agreement with Felix Sater, an associate of the president, for a Russian developer to build the tower, BuzzFeed reported.
BuzzFeed noted that there is no evidence Ivanka Trump’s contact with the athlete was illegal or concerned the 2016 election. There’s also no evidence that the weightlifter would have been able to introduce the two men, the outlet added.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators have reviewed the emails and interrogated witnesses about the communication, according to sources who spoke with BuzzFeed.
Klokov, meanwhile, denied communicating with Cohen to BuzzFeed and stopped responding to the publication’s messages after being told he had sent at least two emails to the president’s lawyer.