Members of the Trump Organization and investors nearly reached a deal to open a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 election, according to a new report.
Trump’s company and investors signed a letter of intent to open up a massive development as part of the Trump brand but dropped the deal in January 2016 after they failed to get the land and permits to launch the project, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Felix Sater, a Russian-born developer, also encouraged Trump to visit Moscow to hear about the proposal and promised he could get Russian President Vladimir Putin to say “great things” about Trump, according to The Post.
Developers first began discussing a deal in 2015, but it’s unclear if Trump was aware of the negotiations. The report comes amid an ongoing investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between members of Trump’s team and Russia.
The White House declined to comment to The Post for the story. Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, also declined to comment.
The exchanges were revealed in emails that will soon be turned over to congressional investigators looking into ties between Trump and Russia. The emails reportedly show that Trump associates and individuals with ties to Russia were in contact during the course of the campaign.
Sater wrote to Cohen, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, “something to the effect of, ‘Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’” one person familiar with the emails told the Post.
Sater, who moved to Brooklyn from Russia when he was eight, was also in Moscow at the same time as Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump and claimed he escorted them on a trip there, an account one of Trump’s lawyers has disputed, according to The Post.
Trump has repeatedly denied that he has any ties to Russia, but he has tried and failed several times to open a Trump property in Moscow.
The Trump Organization is currently being run in a blind trust by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and they have promised not to pursue any foreign business ventures while their father is in office, The Hill adds.