Despite working closely with Sater not just on the Moscow bids but also on a number of projects in the United States (including Trump SoHo, an Arizona hotel, and condo developments), Trump seemed to develop a memory hole around his felonious friend.
In a 2013 deposition for a suit in which Trump’s Fort Lauderdale development—also a Bayrock project—was accused of fraud, Trump claimed that he wouldn’t know Sater if the two men were sitting in the same room.
The two men were in the same room often. Sater had rented a penthouse in one of Trump’s buildings since 1996, which was when he got to know Trump. He held the No. 2 slot at Bayrock since 2002 while that company—which was also headquartered in Trump Tower—worked with Trump on a series of projects. Sater joined Trump at a meeting with investors in Moscow in 2007.
Not only did the two men share a room on multiple occasions, but often enough that room was Donald Trump’s office.
Sater testified that after trips to Russia, he would “pop my head into Mr. Trump’s office and tell him, you know, ‘Moving forward on the Moscow deal.’ And he would say, ‘All right.’ ”
But somehow, after a more than a decade of working together, Trump didn’t know Sater in 2013 … only to turn around and send Sater to Moscow again in 2015.
The developer, Felix Sater, predicted in a November 2015 email that he and Trump Organization leaders would soon be celebrating — both one of the biggest residential projects in real estate history and Donald Trump’s election as president, according to two of the people with knowledge of the exchange.
The Sater trip to Moscow joins a long line of Russia connections that Trump has failed to acknowledge. That includes the Trump Tower meeting brokered by Donald Trump Jr. between Trump’s senior campaign staff and a team offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton provided by the Russian government, and meetings that went unreported by Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jefferson Sessions, and others.
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