President Trump’s company planned to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 campaign, according to sources cited by BuzzFeed News. Two law-enforcement officials told the news outlet that Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, talked about the idea with a representative of Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Trump’s former business partner, real-estate developer Felix Sater, confirmed the plan to BuzzFeed, saying the idea was that having Putin own a penthouse would entice more wealthy individuals to buy space in the tower. “In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin,” Sater was quoted as saying. The idea never came to fruition as the tower was never built. It was not immediately clear if Trump himself was aware of the plan, but Cohen has said in court filings that he regularly briefed Trump on negotiations in Moscow. Cohen also said Thursday that he lied about contacting an aide to Peskov to discuss “assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction.” News of the reported Trump Tower-Putin plan comes shortly after news broke that Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about Trump’s business dealings in Moscow.
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