Buzzfeed may have gotten into hot water after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team denied their report that President Donald Trump directed attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress regarding plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow, but the organization isn’t stepping back. In addition to standing by their reporting regarding Trump’s orders to Cohen, Buzzfeed just broke another huge story relating to one of Trump’s most infamous projects.
Trump Tower Moscow was hardly the vague suggestion that Trump and his allies have purported it to be.
Last year, the President faced scrutiny when the public learned he’d continued plans on Trump Tower Moscow until at least June 2016 after frequent denials that he’d had no business dealings with Russia during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Since that assertion was proven false, Trump and his ilk have insisted that Trump Tower Moscow was little more than a theoretical possibility, never discussed in detail.
As recently as yesterday, Trump’s personal attorney and former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani insisted to the New Yorker that
“I never said he had ‘conversations about a skyscraper in Moscow.’ The only thing that ever happened was that they submitted a letter of intent about a possible project in Moscow that never went beyond that. No money was ever paid, no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file. Nothing ever happened to it.”
Though Giuliani in the New Yorker interview appears to maintain the assertion that the proof of intent was only submitted and never signed—despite CNN providing a signed copy of it in December 2018—Buzzfeed expands on the report by showing detailed mockups and hundreds of pages of documents that indicate the length to which the plans were discussed.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 22, 2019
Giuliani on Trump's proposed tower in Moscow, YESTERDAY: "[N]o plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file."
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 22, 2019
The article also includes correspondence between Michael Cohen and head of the prospective development firm for the property, Andrey Rozov. While Trump allies like his son Don Jr. have dismissed the project as a possibility solely explored by Michael Cohen, it is the President’s name at the bottom of the letter.
In addition to Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka profiting off a luxury spa in the facility bearing her name, the sumptuous penthouse suite—resting at the top of the 1,530 foot tower—was to be given away to a very special tenant: Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump representatives had hoped that Putin’s presence in the $50 million dollar suite would encourage other prospective tenants to shell out more money for proximity to the Kremlin.
Americans on Twitter are calling foul.
Tiny man with tiny hands dream of building tall structures
— ZaFa (@zafam) January 22, 2019
Trump was only ‘loosely aware’ his lawyer offered Putin a free $50 million trump tower penthouse. Call rudy about that Brooklyn Bridge deal.
— 'Individual 1’cat (@unhipcat) January 22, 2019
Giuliani yet again lying. His next quote will be, "Well there weren't any plans but if there were it wouldn't be illegal."
Next quote, "Of course there were plans but the American people don't care."
— FuzzyLogic (@Icouldbeanybody) January 22, 2019
That was just the beginning.