If Trump's failed attempt to build Trump Tower Moscow had been successful, what exactly would Russian President Vladimir Putin get out of it?
When Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded to guilty to lying to Congress yesterday, his confession that they continued to negotiate the Trump Tower Moscow project through the summer of 2016 became a matter of public record, but Michael Cohen has told federal investigators many other things that haven't been made public.
According to officials who spoke to Buzzfeed News, Cohen told federal prosecutors that Trump was planning to give Putin a penthouse with the explicit goal of doing business with Russia's oligarchs.
Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary. [...]
[Michael Cohen and Felix Sater] worked furiously behind the scenes into the summer of 2016 to get the Moscow deal finished — despite public claims that the development was canned in January, before Trump won the Republican nomination. Sater told BuzzFeed News today that he and Cohen thought giving the Trump Tower’s most luxurious apartment, a $50 million penthouse, to Putin would entice other wealthy buyers to purchase their own. “In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin,” Sater told BuzzFeed News. “My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin.” A second source confirmed the plan.
Soon after news of Cohen's guilty plea broke yesterday morning, Trump called Cohen a "weak person" and a liar.
Several hours later, Trump's current lawyers confirmed Cohen's version of events.
Several hours after that, Trump himself confessed.