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Tag: Vladimir Putin

Trump’s Company Offered Putin a $50M Penthouse in Planned Tower in Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump Organization offered Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to several media outlets.

“If we have Putin in the penthouse every oligarch in Russia would want to live in that building,” Felix Sater, a businessman who worked on the project and suggested the idea, told the Washington Post.

The revelations came as Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney and confidant, pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. 

According to BuzzFeed News, Cohen discussed the plan with a representative of Putin’s press secretary.

The Trump Tower in Russia has become a target of Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Trump was aware of the Penthouse plan.

Trump’s Former Lawyer Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress about Russia

Trump Tower in New York City.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former lawyer and longtime confidant Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia, according to multiple news reports.

Cohen has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in what could be a big break for Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

The guilty plea came just a few hours after Trump slammed Mueller in another tweetstorm.

“When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever?” Trump tweeted.

The timing of the plea coincides with Trump’s plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 nations summit in Argentina.

FBI Director Wray on Putin’s Offer: No Thanks

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thanks but no thanks.

That’s the message from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who says he’s not interested in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to have American investigators go to Russia to observe interviews of suspects wanted by the U.S.

“I never want to say never, but it’s certainly not high on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said wryly at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News.

Wray also dismissed Putin’s proposed that Russian investigators be allowed to come to the U.S. and observe questioning of suspects that they’re interested in.

“That’s probably even lower on our list of investigative techniques,” Wray said.

On the Mueller probe, Wray said:

“I think it’s a professional investigation conducted by a man that I’ve known to be a straight shooter.”

Putin Defends Trump, Dismisses Claims of Collusion As Propaganda

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised President Trump, discounting allegations of links between the White House and Kremlin as “some sort of spy-mania,” Bloomberg reports.

“We see some quite serious achievements, even in this short period of time that he’s been working,” Putin said at his annual press conference in Moscow on Thursday. “Look at the markets, how they’ve risen. That shows investors’ confidence in the American economy, it shows they believe in what President Trump is doing in this area.”

Putin dismissed the allegations of links between Russia and Trump’s campaign as propaganda “invented by people who are in opposition to Trump in order to make his work look illegitimate.”

Putin is running for another six years as president of Russia.

Putin Insists FBI Is Drugging Former Head of Russia’s Anti-Doping Lab

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed – with no evidence – that the FBI is drugging the former head of Russia’s anti-doping lab so he’ll blow the whistle on a massive state-run doping program.

Putin said the former head of the lab, Grigory Rodchenkov, who is now in a witness-protection program in the U.S., is under the influence of some kind of drug to get him to cooperate with the investigation, Bloomberg reports.

The whistleblower led to Russia being barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“He’s working under the control of the American special services, what kind of substances are they giving him so he says what they need?” Putin said at his annual press conference on Thursday in Moscow.

Despite Putin’s claims, Rodchenkov has the backing of the International Olympic Committee, which said the whistleblowers’s accusations that Russia was doping its athletes are credible.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Russia conspired to provide banned substances to about 1,000 athletes from 2011-15.

Trump, Putin Met for Undisclosed, Private Discussion During G20 Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump secretly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a one-on-one discussion over dinner during the Group of 20 summit meeting earlier this month, the New York Times reports

The White House, which didn’t disclose the meeting until confronted by the secret discussion Tuesday, said there was nothing unusual about the meet-up.

Trump slammed media reports about the secret meeting as “sick,” saying the “Press knew!” about the dinner since world leaders and their spouses had been invited by Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Times wrote:

While the leaders-and-spouses dinner was on Mr. Trump’s public schedule, the news media was not allowed to witness any part of it, nor were reporters provided with an account of what transpired. Mr. Trump’s traveling press contingent did note, however, that his motorcade left the dinner four minutes after Mr. Putin’s did.

The dinner at which the private conversation took place stretched for more than three hours after a concert for the leaders and their spouses at the Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall on the banks of the Elbe River.

In the earlier, formal meeting, Mr. Trump said later, he asked the Russian president twice about his role in the American vote. Mr. Putin denied involvement, and the two men agreed to move beyond the dispute in the interest of finding common ground on other matters, including a limited cease-fire in Syria.

There is no official United States government record of the intimate dinner conversation, because no American official other than the president was involved.

Putin Jokingly Offers Comey Asylum in Russia, Comparing ex-FBI Boss to Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin joked Thursday that he’s willing to grant asylum to fired FBI Director James Comey, comparing him to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Speaking at a question-and-answer session with Russian voters, Putin asked, “What’s the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

“In this case, he (Comey) is not the head of a special service but a human rights activist who defends a certain position,” Putin said.

Putin added, “If he is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.”

But don’t confuse Putin’s trademark sardonic humor with support for Comey.

During the same session, Putin criticized the former FBI director for suggesting Russia was meddling in the presidential election, saying Comey “gave no evidence” of his allegations.

Putin said Russia was not involved in “any sort of underground, subversive activity.”

Other Stories of Interest

Putin: Hacking of DNC Emails Was Public Service But Denies Government Responsible

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vladimir Putin denied accusations that Russia’s government hacked thousands of Democratic National Committee emails and documents, but said the action was a public service.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’

Putin has long been a critic of Hillary Clinton, who compared his annexation of Crimea in 2014 to Adolph Hitler’s actions before WWII.

“There’s no need to distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it,” Putin said of the DNC breach. “But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”

Bloomberg reports:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has high confidence that the government in Moscow was behind the theft at the DNC and other Democratic Party organizations seeking to propel Clinton to victory over Republican Donald Trump in November, a person familiar with the findings has said. Trump has praised Putin as a great leader and the billionaire’s former campaign chairman spent years working for the Kremlin ally who was ousted from Ukraine’s presidency in 2014.