Speed Reads

the russia investigation

Emails reveal Trump associate promised Putin support on potential Moscow tower

The New York Times revealed Monday that during the presidential campaign, a business associate of President Trump's pushed a potential real estate deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, asserting a Trump Tower in Moscow would "get Donald elected."

The Times acquired a series of emails between Felix Sater and Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, stemming from 2015. Sater told Cohen that he could win Putin's support for a Trump Tower in Moscow, which Sater said would boost then-candidate Trump's political prospects. "Our boy can become president of the U.S.A. and we can engineer it," Sater wrote to Cohen. "I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this."

The Washington Post had revealed the existence of the messages between Sater and Cohen on Sunday, but did not reveal their contents. Additionally, it remains unclear how aware or involved Trump was. The Trump Organization and investors signed a letter of intent, but the project stalled and was dropped at the end of January 2016.

Cohen told the Times in a statement that he considered Sater's boasts of influence with Putin to be simple "salesmanship." "I ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia," Cohen said. In a statement Monday, the Trump Organization said: "To be clear, the Trump Organization has never had any real estate holdings or interests in Russia."

Read more at The New York Times.