Rob Goldstone, the British publicist at the center of the latest Russia scandal to engulf the Trump administration, has reportedly said President Trump’s real-estate project in Moscow fell apart after U.S. sanctions damaged the Russian economy. President Trump has repeatedly played down the idea that he had any major business deals with Russia after a licensing deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow was abandoned last year. Under the deal, the high-rise was to be built by Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, though it would have Trump’s name on it. In comments cited by Yahoo News late Tuesday, however, Goldstone said the plans never came to fruition because “the economy tanked in Russia” after Washington slapped Moscow with sanctions in 2014. Goldstone also said Donald Trump Jr.—currently under fire for agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected lawyer for dirt on Hillary Clinton during his father’s campaign—was spearheading his father’s real-estate efforts in Moscow. The new details come as it was revealed that the younger Trump met with the Russian lawyer at the behest of Agalarov’s son Emin, a pop singer. The Agalarovs, who are also tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, were reportedly the driving force behind Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer.
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