Three months after announcing his candidacy, President Trump reportedly ventured to build a Trump Tower Moscow. The project, which was pursued as a partnership between the Trump Organization and Russian-born real estate developer Felix Sater, was abandoned in November 2016, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.
Sater’s discussions with Trump Organization leaders, which began in September 2015, indicated that a letter of intent allowing Trump’s name to be licensed for the building was signed, but the project never moved forward because investors lacked land and permits. The exchanges also revealed yet another attempt by a Russian emissary to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
From The Washington Post:
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 president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and Sater exchanged multiple emails about the project in November of 2015. According to two people who were familiar with the conversation, Sater allegedly told Cohen that they would soon be “celebrating” after the real estate deal was finalized and Trump won the election: “something to the effect of, ‘Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’ ” according to The Post’s unnamed sources. (Sater was born in the Soviet Union before emigrating to Brooklyn, NY, when he was 6.)
Congressional investigators have been briefed on the previously unreported Trump Organization emails and will obtain copies shortly.
Trump has tried to build a tower with his name on it in Moscow since 1987, before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Trump tried again in 2005, when he inked a one-year deal with Sater — that project was also abandoned.
It’s unclear what exactly led to this project’s demise, but it’s quite clear why the project was previously undisclosed until now — that whole investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials might have something to do with it.