BuzzFeed Broke Story About Presidents Deal In Russia For Moscow Trump Towers May 17, 2018

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MI6

BuzzFeed broke the story about the Christopher Steele Dossier on 1/10/2017. This news outlet was the only one to make public the 35 page report, which the republican President Donald Trump had termed, ‘fake news.’  (Chief Ben) Smith did offer another an extended rationale for publishing the documents: “The elected representatives of the American people are making discussions or public allegations based on [the memos], and we didn’t see any reason why the American people shouldn’t see it themselves.”

BuzzFeed has withstood lawsuits because of its actions but none have succeeded.

As per an August 21, 2018 BBC report, “A judge in Washington DC has dismissed a lawsuit against an ex-British spy who compiled a dossier alleging links between Donald Trump and the Kremlin.”

“Christopher Steele was sued by three Russian oligarchs who claimed he defamed them by writing that they tried to influence the 2016 US election.”

“Mr Steele’s lawyers argued that the legal action was frivolous and an attempt to silence him.”

“On Monday a judge agreed, saying Mr Steele has a right to his opinion.”

With the news breaking on November 29, 2018 regarding President Trump’s ties to Russia, the dossier is now gaining some credibility.

Image result for photos of christopher steele
CHRISTOPHER STEELE

The document was prepared for political opponents of President Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. Then this British MI6 retired agent Christopher Steele who had worked the Russian desk for years was hired by Hillary Clinton’s political adviser. His collected memos revealed Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.

The president-elect’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Mic that the allegations were absolutely false.“It’s so ridiculous on so many levels,” he said. “Clearly, the person who created this did so from their imagination or did so hoping that the liberal media would run with this fake story for whatever rationale they might have.”

Image result for photos of christopher steele
Orbis Offices of Chris Steele

As per the 11/29/18 Atlantic report, “Shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, (January 2017) he gave a combative press conference at which he was asked by a reporter, “I was just hoping that we could get a yes-or-no answer on these questions involving Russia. Can you say if you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?”

“In reply, he lied to the American public. “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia,” he said. “…I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”

Compare the above comments to what has been revealed on November 29, 2018 when Michael Cohen in Federal Court verified much of what was compiled in the Steele dossier.

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MICHAEL COHEN

In May 2017, BuzzFeed broke another story regarding President Trump’s ties to Russia.

Here is the rest of the story…

On May 17, 2018, Anthony Comier and Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed penned the following report, “Trump Moscow: The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Russian Deal During The Campaign” (“On the day of the third Republican presidential debate, Trump personally signed the letter of intent.”)

Excerpts:

“All through the hot summer campaign of 2016, as Donald Trump and his aides dismissed talk of unseemly ties to Moscow, two of his key business partners were working furiously on a secret track: negotiations to build what would have been the tallest building in Europe and an icon of the Trump empire — the Trump World Tower Moscow.”

Architectural renderings of the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.
Architectural renderings of the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow./ BuzzFeed

“Talks to construct the 100-story building continued even as the presidential candidate alternately bragged about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and rejected suggestions of Russian influence, and as Russian agents worked to sway US public opinion on Trump’s behalf.”

“While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo News — this is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself.”

An architectural rendering of the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.
An architectural rendering of the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow./ BuzzFeed

The tower — a sheer, glass-encased obelisk situated on a river — would have soared above every other building in Moscow, the architectural drawings show. And the sharply angled skyscraper would have climaxed in a diamond-shaped pinnacle emblazoned with the word “Trump,” putting his name atop the continent’s tallest structure.

Michael Cohen, the president’s embattled personal fixer, and Felix Sater, who helped negotiate deals around the world for Trump, led the effort. Working quietly behind the scenes, they tried to arrange a sit-down between Trump and Putin, the documents show. Those efforts ultimately fizzled. But the audacious venture has been a keen focus of federal investigators trying to determine if the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

Donald Trump and Felix Sater (center) in 2007.
Donald Trump and Felix Sater (center) in 2007./Patrick Mcmullan / Getty Images

Last month, Senate Intelligence Committee staffers peppered Sater for hours with questions about the Trump Moscow project. Sater testified that Cohen acted as the “intermediary” for Trump Moscow and was eager to see the deal through because he wanted to “score points with Trump.”

Sater also testified that Trump would regularly receive “short updates about the process of the deal.” Cohen has said that he briefed Trump three times on the deal, all before the end of January 2016. Cohen, the White House, and the Trump Organization did not return messages seeking comment.

FELIX SATER

Special counsel Robert Mueller planned to ask Trump himself about his discussions with Sater and Cohen about the Trump Moscow project, according to the New York Times. One of Mueller’s questions was: “What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater, and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?” Additionally, Mueller intended to query Trump about any discussions he had during the campaign “regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin.”

“Even before the appointment of Mueller as special counsel in May 2017, FBI agents investigating Russia’s interference in the election learned that Cohen was in frequent contact with foreign individuals about Trump Moscow — and that some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling, according to 2 FBI agents. The agents declined to name those individuals. Both agents have detailed knowledge about the bureau’s work on the collusion investigation that predated Mueller’s appointment.”

Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during a trip to Moscow.

“In public statements, Cohen has said that he informed Trump the deal was dead in January 2016, but new records show he was still working on it with Sater at least into June. In May, 6 weeks before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Sater asked Cohen when he and Trump would go to Moscow. In a text message, Cohen replied: “MY trip before Cleveland. Trump once he becomes the nominee after the convention.”

“Throughout the nine-month effort, Sater, who was born in the Soviet Union and worked for years as an undercover source for US intelligence agencies and the FBI, told Cohen he had connections to top Russian officials and businessmen: Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, brothers who grew up with Putin and were considered his “shadow cabinet”; Andrey Molchanov, a billionaire Russian politician Sater was introduced to by a close personal friend, who proposed building the tower on his property; and a former member of Russia’s military intelligence to whom Sater passed photographs of Cohen’s passport to obtain a visa.”

Putin and his spokesman Dmitry Peskov (right).
Putin and his spokesman Dmitry Peskov (right)./ Alexei Druzhinin

“Whatever the significance of the negotiations to the election, the men took measures to keep the plans secret. Text messages often ended with a simple “call me.” They communicated, at times, via Dust, a secure, encrypted messaging application. Sater warned that they “gotta keep this quiet.”

Link to lengthy article: BuzzFeed’s account of the negotiations 

See NYT report: Cohen Pleads Guilty and Details Trump’s Involvement in Moscow …

8 comments

  1. Gronda, I have heard interviews and read excerpts from Senator John McCain’s book “Restless Wave” about the credibility of Christopher Steele. The reason McCain agreed to accept the Steele Dossier and pass it along is the high regard intelligence people have in Steele.

    Why the dossier deserves more scrutiny is the extent of lying by people like Cohen, Manafort, and, of course, both junior and senior Trump. The senior is known for his lack of veracity – by itself that should tell investigators to look further. As we have know for some time, by simply paying attention, the changing stories, the acting guilty and the nature of the man, tell us Trump is guilty of more than a few things related to Russia.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Keith,

      Christopher Steele did the right thing by trying to alert FBI and others about a serious problems that he uncovered while doing opposition research. Yet he paid a heck of a price by the right wing pundits, the GOP congressional representatives working on the House Intelligence Committee with Devin Nunes as chair.

      I wonder if they are now realizing how foolishly they acted. I doubt it. Speaker Paul Ryan will have a lot to answer for in allowing this blow up of this committee.

      The thing is that the dossier was not a final product. It was a starting point where all the assertions made by the folks Mr. Steele talked to for information, have to be checked out. It is up to agents to take this data and to verify or dispute any facts.

      Lets face it. Our president had a habit of hanging out with crooks.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What continues to frustrate me is the total ignorance of these actions by his followers. I know some of that is because they don’t read political news … and the other is because they hear Faux News’ twist on it … and some of it is because they’re convinced the “liberals” are just making stuff up.

    But isn’t it common sense (by anyone) that when a person continues to deny-deny-deny that something happened, it’s a pretty darn good sign it actually happened?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Nan,

      As you have probably noticed, the president is already changing his story. Eventually, the followers’ numbers will continue to decline except for the Evangelicals, the racists, the anti-immigration folks. Many of the military (a former reliable republican voting block) will be leaving the fold as more data about President Trump’s ties to Russia become available. The workers will start leaving too like in Ohio and Michigan where those auto plants are closing.

      In short the Republican Party are continuing to lose members. There is hope.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    Just for fun let’s toss this into the fray! It seems that little mini me also lied to congress about the Russian contacts in this incident as well. This would be a good opening for Robert Mueller to take a trip to the grand jury…

    https://www.npr.org/2018/11/30/672188201/trump-jr-s-2017-testimony-conflicts-with-cohen-s-account-of-russian-talks?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_co

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      Don Jr. will be in Mr. Mueller’s cross hairs. I just love how President Trump and Rudy Giuliani call others liars when they are both expert prevaricators.

      Eventually, Ron Jr. will be testifying for the grand jury and for the House Intelligence Committee.

      Eventually, he’ll figure out that he’s expected to follow rules like everyone else.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 2 people

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