A new bombshell investigation by BuzzFeed News has revealed that President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to begin building a Trump Tower in Moscow in October 2015 -- months after he formally announced his presidential campaign.
According to the report, Trump signed an LOI for the Trump Tower Moscow project that was drafted by personal attorney Michael Cohen at the behest of longtime business associate Felix Sater, who himself has longstanding ties to the Russian mob.
After Trump signed the letter, Sater and Cohen planned a trip to Moscow to negotiate directly with Russian representatives. However, two months after Trump signed the letter, Sater and Cohen were still waiting to hear back from their contacts in Russia giving them the go-ahead to travel to the country.
During this time, it seems that Cohen was antsy about what he would tell Trump if the future president asked him about progress on the project.
"Not you or anyone you know will embarrass me in front of Mr. T when he asks me what is happening," Cohen wrote to Sater in a message obtained by BuzzFeed.
On New Year's Even 2015, Sater informed Cohen that they had been invited to Moscow by GenBank -- a Russian bank that had been sanctioned by the United States just nine days earlier for its operations in the recently annexed province of Crimea.
Sater explained to Cohen that GenBank operates "through Putin's administration and nothing gets done there without approval from the top." He also said that "the meetings in Moscow will be with ministers -- in US, that’s cabinet-level and with Putin’s top administration people."
However, Cohen believed that GenBank was a "third-rate" organization and he told Sater that he would work his own contacts to secure a meeting with a more prominent financial institution.
Cohen eventually received an invitation to Moscow that he found acceptable from an unidentified person, although there is some evidence from BuzzFeed's reporting to suggest that it was from Andrey Ryabinskiy, a Russian mortgage tycoon and boxing promoter.
After Sater arranged for Cohen to call up a former Russian spy to plan travel arrangements, their communications suddenly went dark -- and this was around the time that Cohen had claimed in the past that the Trump Tower Moscow project had been put on ice.
As it turns out, however, Sater and Cohen were still communicating with one another about the project via a heavily encrypted mobile application called Dust that automatically deletes messages after they're read.
In fact, Sater tells BuzzFeed that he and Cohen were still planning on travelling to Moscow even after Trump had secured the Republican nomination for the presidency -- and that they had wanted Trump himself to travel to the country to work out a deal during the campaign.
However, Sater decided the deal was dead once Trump began receiving scrutiny for his alleged ties to Russia -- and after Trump himself publicly tweeted that he had "ZERO investments in Russia."
The entire report is filled with jaw-dropping details -- read it at this link.