WaPo: Trump Lawyer Asked Putin Aide for Business Help Amid Campaign

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Sater even claimed that he carries a lot of weight in Russia, explaining that he arranged for Trump's daughter Ivanka to sit at Putin's desk and in his chair when she was visiting Moscow in 2006. "Trump Inc. sought a "Trump Tower Moscow" WHILE HE WAS RUNNING FOR POTUS". Three months later, after Cohen emailed Putin's chief spokesman for a little help to make the project happen, it was dead - on Cohen's orders, Cohen claims, not Trump's.

The business deal, which was scrapped in January 2016, is the first evidence that Trump's business was attempting to deal in Russia as he was campaigning to become president, and ultimately have a significant role in the United States' relations with the country.

Cohen gave a statement to the Times downplaying Sater's comments.

Discussions about the Moscow project began in earnest in September 2015, according to people briefed on the deal. Though the trip amounted to nothing - a Trump Tower was never built in Moscow - the report piqued the interest of many.

Here are three key takeaways from the latest Russia news. Trump entered the race in June 2015, and by January 2016 he was leading in the polls for the Republican nomination.

"It stands in stark contrast to all Trump's blanket denials about contacts with Russia", Wright said. Not that there's much they can do. But whether the report will assist and provide more information in the present federal probe concerning the Trump-Russia debacle is yet to be seen.

"I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall", Trump said. "I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon". Sater is a Russian-American from Brooklyn who once stabbed a dude in the eye with a margarita glass. Trump has denied any collusion, although developments since the election have shown that Trump associates were at least willing to accept Russian help during the election. Alan Garten, a senior Trump Organization attorney, told ABC News that "there's really no direct relationship" between Sater and the real estate firm.

Around the same time, Putin publicly praised Trump as a 'colorful and talented' person, and then-candidate Trump said it was an 'honor' to receive the compliment.

But Sater's work on behalf of Trump continued through the campaign and beyond. The emails may also show concrete connections between Russian officials and top Trump advisers. The project, which was pursued as a partnership between the Trump Organization and Russian-born real estate developer Felix Stater, was abandoned in November 2016, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post. It also leads to legitimate questions about Trump's financial ties to Russia that would seem to be a reasonable line of inquiry by both special counsel Robert Mueller and the various Congressional committees investigating this matter.

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