Popular Theory Perfectly Explains How Trump Colluded With Russia

This thread was created by Seth Abramson and was provided by Tucker Benedict. For more free, fact-checked news updates and popular theories on what's really going on in Washington follow Tucker's page here. 

1/ On February 2, 2017, Kremlin agent and Trump pal Aras Agalarov announced the Trump Tower Moscow project was dead. http://russianconstruction.com/news-1/26505-russians-abandon-plans-for-trump-tower-construction-in-moscow-region.html 


2/ In announcing the project's end, Russian media confirmed that the project had begun in 2013, and that there was only ever ONE project. 


3/ Agalarov did NOT announce the end of the project in June 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States. 


4/ Nor could he have done so, as we now know, from Washington Post reporting, that the project was alive and active in both 2015 and 2016. 


5/ Just to underscore this: Trump was working on a real estate deal with a KNOWN Kremlin agent for SEVEN MONTHS while running for president. 


6/ And Agalarov didn't claim the project had died simply because Trump had been elected president—but because Trump "couldn't do any deals." 


7/ Recall that—by Trump's own public admission—as late as Election Day he did not believe he would win the presidency of the United States. 


8/ Trump thought that—on November 9, 2016—he'd return to being a non-politician private citizen free to do big international business deals. 


9/ So all of Trump's historically pro-Russia foreign policy was developed at a time he thought he was making a pitch for Trump Tower Moscow. 


10/ To reverse his policy positions in office would be to admit that they'd not been formulated with U.S. interests in mind—a sad catch-22. 


11/ Recall now that—when he DID win on November 8—Trump for weeks resisted ANY attempt to shut down his business dealings at home or abroad. 


12/ He STILL hasn't divested himself of his business interests in conformance with our Constitution, precedent, or federal ethics watchdogs. 


13/ So Agalarov waiting 85 DAYS after Trump's election as president to announce the end of the Trump Tower Moscow project is no coincidence. 


14/ Let's first understand who Aras Agalarov is—as it's clear Trump knew EXACTLY who/what he was when he entered into business with him. 


15/ UK media calls Agalarov a "Kremlin insider" who is "Putin's main property developer" and the primary "liaison between Putin and Trump." 


16/ He's been called "Putin's right-hand man when it comes to carrying out development projects." Putin is reportedly very "fond" of him. 


17/ (I'll pause to note that some of the source links for this 200-tweet thread will come at the end of the thread. Others will be in-line.) 


18/ Agalarov has admitted to Russian media that he takes "orders" from Putin, completing big development projects—without tenders—on demand. 


19/ By every *possible* legal definition of the term, Agalarov is not just a Kremlin agent but, even more specifically, an "agent of Putin." 


20/ Agalarov is professionally a creature of Putin; he enjoys Putin's largesse. The chances he'd act counter to Putin's interests are zero. 


21/ Doubt this? Consider that Putin awarded Agalarov Russia's "Order of Honour"—one of the highest honors any Russian civilian can receive. 


22/ Consider, too, that Agalarov received this honor—Putin's clearest-possible imprimatur—TEN DAYS before Trump went into business with him. 


23/ The Steele Dossier—MI6-derived work-product that the FBI probe into Trump-Russia ties relies upon—mentions Agalarov, though not by name. 


24/ The Dossier details Russian efforts to entice Trump toward pro-Russia policies using promises of future MAJOR Russian development deals. 


25/ Several such deals noted by the Dossier involve 2018 World Cup real estate projects. And Putin put AGALAROV in charge of those projects. 


26/ So the Dossier that *forms the basis of the FBI's Russia probe* alleges Putin is using Agalarov to influence Trump. And that checks out. 


27/ Agalarov has been DRAMATICALLY influencing Trump's actions since they met in June 2013, two years BEFORE Trump announced his candidacy. 


28/ Don't fall for Team Trump's trick of acting like Trump decided to run for president on the *day he announced*. He decided in *mid-2013*. 


29/ The Agalarov-Trump partnership began in June 2013, 18 months before Trump's announcement—and while he was *aggressively* considering it. 


30/ Indeed, The New York Post announced Trump was exploring a run for president one month BEFORE Trump met Aras Agalarov in June 2013. 


31/ A May 2013 NYP article, "Trump Researching 2016 Run," revealed Trump had spent $1 million on electoral research. http://pagesix.com/2013/05/27/trump-researching-2016-run/ 


32/ Trump's May 2013 expenditures studied ALL FIFTY STATES to determine Trump's popularity in each—and Trump's attorney said he was SERIOUS. 


33/ Michael Cohen: "We didn't spend $1 million on this research for it to sit on my bookshelf....Trump is exactly what this country needs." 


34/ In the past, Trump has teased presidential runs either to boost his business standing or because he was serious about the possibility. 


35/ So either Trump was keen to suddenly raise his business profile in May 2013 or he was engaging in a long prelude to a presidential run. 


36/ Besides planning a possible 2016 presidential run, Trump spent May 2013 trying to decide where to hold the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. 


37/ According to Trump, almost twenty nations around the world spent May 2013 frantically vying for the honor of hosting Miss Universe 2013. 


38/ And yet, within ONE WEEK of meeting Agalarov for the FIRST TIME in June 2013, Trump awarded that year’s Miss Universe pageant to Russia. 


39/ Reportedly, Trump and Agalarov quickly became SO close from June 2013 on it was like "manna"—God-granted nourishment—to Vladimir Putin. 


40/ A western diplomat in Moscow has gone much further: "If there are skeletons in Trump's dealings with Russia, Aras knows where they are." 


41/ (We'll return to this, but remember who Trump was partying with the night Steele's dossier says Putin got his kompromat: Aras Agalarov.) 


42/ "And if Aras Agalarov knows Donald Trump's skeletons, you wouldn't bet on Vladimir Putin not ALSO knowing," added the Western diplomat. 


43/ It's clear that "Trump Tower Moscow" was born sometime between June 2013 and the 2013 pageant—but likely *at* that June "first meeting." 


44/ We know this because Trump Tower Moscow was announced by RT, Russia's Kremlin-run media outlet, on November 9th—the day of the pageant. 


45/ Syncing announcement of the project and Trump's arrival in Moscow underscores that its broad strokes—at a minimum—had come much earlier. 


46/ So U.S. media should be reporting Trump was negotiating with a known Kremlin agent at the same time he was exploring a presidential run. 


47/ And that means Trump's development of a Russia policy—and him doing so with an eye toward business gains—began in the Spring of 2013. 


48/ It also means that the efforts by Trump ally DeSantis in the House to preclude Mueller investigating anything pre-2015 is *Obstruction*. 


49/ So how did the Agalarovs first sidle up to Trump? The plot involves a music video, a supermodel, and a Euro-pop musician: Emin Agalarov. 


50/ Emin (Aras' son) cast Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo in a video of his—which led to her and a Miss Universe delegation going to Moscow. 


51/ Emin was then married to the daughter of Azerbaijan's president. Trump had signed a big Azerbaijan deal in 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trumps-azerbaijan-hotel-linked-with-corruption-iran-2017-3 


52/ Several Senators have asked Congress to investigate "Trump Tower Baku"—a deal which involved the most corrupt businessmen in Azerbaijan. 


53/ So when Trump met Aras and Emin in June 2013 they were implicitly able to help Trump realize TWO dream deals: towers in Moscow AND Baku. 


54/ This explains why—in June 2013—it took Trump UNDER A WEEK to throw over 16 OTHER NATIONS and award his pageant to Aras, Emin, and Putin. 


55/ The pageant was scheduled for the SAME DEVELOPMENT Trump Tower Moscow was later announced for—suggesting the TWO conversations were ONE. 


56/ Indeed, Trump's pageant release was bizarre: “A big deal that'll bring our countries together!” he wrote—possibly of Trump Tower Moscow. 


57/ He added, "Moscow right now is a very important place—we wanted Moscow all the way. One of the great families in Russia is our partner." 


58/ So Trump's excitement was tied first and foremost to building new ties between himself and Moscow, Russia, and a "great Russian family." 


59/ We know Trump quickly invited Putin, confirming this would be—amid Trump's presidential exploratory phase—a Trump-Putin political event. 


60/ Indeed, what occurred in the second week of November 2013 in Moscow was nothing short of a colossal, well-prepared Trump-Kremlin summit. 


61/ As Aras and Trump had already discussed a Trump Tower Moscow deal finally getting hatched out in Moscow, Trump went to Moscow PREPARED. 


62/ He brought with him Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen, two New York-based Russian developers who'd previously worked with Trump on Trump Soho. 


63/ Sapir and Rosen would later say, "Russians from the oil and gas businesses had long been asking to be partners [in Trump Tower Moscow]." 


64/ So, WELL PRIOR to November 2013, Trump's Russian business partners told him Russians in the oil/gas industries wanted to give him money. 


65/ This is a good time to note Trump has—since November 2013—categorically refused to say which Russians he met during the Moscow pageant. 


66/ And as you read that last tweet, please remember that Trump's famous for bragging about who he's met—even people he HASN'T actually met. 


67/ Read Tweet #64, then this: Steele's dossier alleges Trump's Russia policy is based on Russians in oil and gas wanting to give him money. 


68/ Trump would later say THIS about the (Trump-orchestrated) attendance at his Moscow pageant: "Almost all Russia's oligarchs were there." 


69/ Trump would add, as if to underscore his obsession with pandering to these "Russian oligarchs": "The Russian market is attracted to me." 


70/ Here's where *everything* in our story goes completely apesh*t. (And yes, "tapes of a sexual nature"—a quote from the CIA—are involved.) 


71/ Here's what POLITICO—an excellent political news magazine—has written about Trump Tower Moscow talk from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant: 


72/ "There is no evidence such talk led anywhere, however—perhaps because Trump soon turned his attention to his run for the White House." 


73/ This "no evidence" line—coupled with the idea that Trump's attention WASN'T on the White House in November 2013—has obscured the TRUTH. 


74/ 2013 was a continuation of a more-than-decade-long trend: Trump using the Miss Universe pageant to advance unrelated business interests. 


75/ It wasn't even the first time he'd used the pageant to advance his RUSSIAN business interests—or even the first time PUTIN was involved. 



77/ Some of the confusion over Trump's 2013 Moscow pageant has been caused by the fact that—despite Trump inviting him—Putin DIDN'T SHOW UP. 


78/ Trump tweeting publicly—before the pageant—that he expected Putin to be at the pageant and become his "new best friend" has misled us. 


79/ In fact, Putin *wasn't*, actually, the person Trump needed to be at Crocus City Hall on November 9, 2013 to get Trump Tower Moscow done. 


80/ As Don Jr. told investors in 2008, the Trump Org's failures to get their biggest Russia designs off the ground had to do with *permits*. 


81/ Don Jr. and Michael Cohen—Trump's point men—have publicly acknowledged the fact that nothing is built in Moscow without Putin's say-so. 


82/ But that "say-so" wasn't literal—Putin didn't have to shake your hand. He had a guy to do that—and in 2013 his name was VLADIMIR KOZHIN. 


83/ Per UK media, Putin didn't show up to the pageant because he was worried about how it would look. Why? Remember the New York Post story. 


84/ Everyone "in the know" in politics in May and June 2013—and certainly by November 2013—believed Trump was planning to run for president. 


85/ If Putin hob-knobbed with Trump on TV, he'd secure Trump's BUSINESS, while damaging him severely—maybe permanently—as a POLITICAL ASSET. 


86/ But Putin KNEW what Trump wanted out of the Moscow pageant, as ARAS AGALAROV—awarded the Order of Honor by Putin just days earlier—knew. 


87/ So guess who Putin sent to the pageant as his replacement, with apologies and a (second) gift for Trump? That's right: VLADIMIR KOZHIN. 


88/ Media reports confirm Trump had business meetings throughout his Russia trip in 2013, and we now know some of those he was meeting with. 


89/ Trump met with Putin's "property chief"—the guy who says if you can build in Moscow or not—and Putin's real estate developer, Agalarov. 


90/ He met with his Russian developer friends, who'd publicly claimed to have Russian oil-and-gas investors lined up for Trump Tower Moscow. 


91/ In other words he had the developer, the permits and the money in one place—and that's how TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW was born November 9, 2013. 


92/ Trump's first tweets post-Moscow: “I just got back from Russia. Learned lots and lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place... 


93/ "...UNITED STATES MUST BE VERY SMART AND VERY STRATEGIC." Once again, Trump combined his business and his political rhetoric seamlessly. 


94/ Trump also had a public Twitter message for the Agalarovs: “I had a great weekend with you and your family. TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW is next." 


95/ So let's have an ADULT CONVERSATION about Trump's lost weekend in Moscow in November of 2013. Was it salacious? Yes. But let's be adult. 


96/ It's important to understand, first, that Trump's November 2013 weekend in Moscow was a CELEBRATION—the culmination of DECADES of work. 


97/ Trump and Aras Agalarov have both PUBLICLY confirmed that the agreement to build Trump Tower Moscow was sealed during the 2013 pageant. 


98/ What this meant was—after decades of *unsuccessful* business ventures in Moscow—Trump had a PUTIN-APPROVED DEAL to build a tower there. 


99/ For all the Russian money Don Jr. had bragged about Trump Org getting in 2008 he was still—even then—complaining about permits to build. 


100/ So the "salacious" night that U.S. media won't even discuss was likely the best night of our current President's ENTIRE BUSINESS LIFE. 


101/ After the pageant there was a "vodka-infused afterparty" at a "glitzy Moscow nightclub." Trump was "energized." https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-trumps-financial-ties-to-russia-and-his-unusual-flattery-of-vladimir-putin/2016/06/17/dbdcaac8-31a6-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html?utm_term=.9d078b916b11 


102/ And why not? At Nobu Moscow, he'd met a dozen Russian CEOs and oligarchs, including the head of state-owned Sberbank—and it PAID OFF. 


103/ How do we KNOW it paid off? On November 19 Sberbank announced a $2.4 BILLION INVESTMENT in the Trump-Aras deal. https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/sberbank-funds-24-billion-construction-at-crocus-city-29740 


104/ Bloomberg says the Sberbank CEO Trump dined with is "a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin." Putin got Trump a $2.4 BILLION DEAL. 


105/ So Trump didn't meet Putin, but Putin ORCHESTRATED possibly *the most exhilarating and lucrative business weekend* of Trump's life. 


106/ And that *may* be why *every* statement both TRUMP and AGALAROV have made about this entire weekend in 2013 has turned out to be a lie. 


107/ Per Bloomberg, Agalarov says Trump was in Moscow anywhere from— 

depending upon which lie Aras uses—2 to 6 days. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-13/trump-s-two-nights-of-parties-in-moscow-reverberate-years-later 


108/ Trump afterward told REW—which noted Trump Tower Moscow would be Trump's "first Russia project"—he was looking at multiple developers. 


109/ But as we now know, what Trump told Real Estate Weekly wasn't true—he'd already cut a deal with Putin pal Aras. http://rew-online.com/2013/11/12/hotel-trio-aims-to-bring-manhattan-to-moscow/ 


110/ Aras claimed not to know his son's manager, Rob Goldstone—though Goldstone spent that 2013 Moscow weekend partying with Trump and Aras. 


111/ Emin claimed Trump *couldn't* have had a wild night at the Ritz, as he filmed a video at 7AM the next day. Trump says he never sleeps. 


112/ Moreover, the post-pageant after-party *started* at 1AM at a Moscow club—so there's no evidence Trump would've slept that night at all. 


113/ Of course, even the order of events has been made confusing: Emin's video was 7AM the day of the pageant, the 1AM after-party later on. 


114/ Even Aras concedes Trump was in the Ritz presidential suite *for at least two nights*—not the *one* that Emin's lie seeks to establish. 


115/ So per Bloomberg's account, the events described in Steele's dossier could've been the night of the 8th OR 9th. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-13/trump-s-two-nights-of-parties-in-moscow-reverberate-years-later 


116/ One thing we know for sure: Trump intended to continue partying *after* the after-party that followed the pageant (early AM, 11/10). 


117/ We know this because, before Steele's dossier was ever released, 2013 Miss Hungary Kata Sarka *told us so*—not knowing it would matter. 


118/ Sarka said—but only when asked—that the night of November 9, 2013, Trump propositioned her for an adulterous affair in his hotel room. 


119/ Trump—married to Melania but not traveling with her—appeared to want to celebrate the best day of his life with an affair with a model. 


120/ Trump is notorious for sleeping with, and trying to sleep with, pageant contestants, so this allegation is actually not too surprising. 


121/ What different in this case is that Sarka's account *confirms* the biggest lie Trump told about his weekend in Moscow in November 2013. 


122/ Trump's chief defense to claims that Putin has kompromat on him is that he acted like a saint while in Moscow: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/allegations-by-former-miss-hungary-contradict-trump_us_587e91b9e4b06a0baf649129 


123/ Trump says he knew there were cameras and audio recording equipment in his room—so he wouldn't have done anything untoward while there. 


124/ Sarka's account confirms that this isn't true. But so too does the way Trump changed his tune on Moscow *after* the Steele allegations: 







125/ So like Agalarov, Trump has lied about the length of his trip, what he did while there, *and* the manner in which he comported himself. 


126/ But don't take Trump's, Aras', and Emin's (dishonest) word for it—read for yourself what the CIA told the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427 


127/ Trump calls the dossier sick, saying its existence suggests "we're living in Nazi Germany"—thus comparing himself to Holocaust victims. 


128/ He says (rather incredibly) that the fact that he is a germophobe means he would be unable to *watch* a third party urinate onto a bed. 


129/ The CIA says this: "There is more than one tape, audio and video, from more than one date, in more than one place, of a sexual nature." 


130/ The CIA went on to tell the BBC that one of the videos comes from the Moscow Ritz, from November 2013, the other from Saint Petersburg. 


131/ The CIA said other intel agencies had the same intel. And the dossier said multiple sources—Agalarov being one—could confirm the tapes. 


132/ So in the same 24 hours Putin gave Trump the biggest win of his business career—his first Russia deal—he snared Trump's future loyalty. 


133/ Now Trump's 2013 deal is treated as dead, rather than on hold, and Putin's largesse irrelevant, not something Trump would never forget. 


134/ But all Trump's Russia policies were developed while the deal was live, and Aras ONLY killed it THREE MONTHS into Trump's presidency. 


135/ The message—whether Putin plans to use his tapes or not—is clear: Trump WILL get BACK his big win—Trump Tower Moscow—IF he acts right. 


136/ In the meantime Trump's one-time personal lawyer and one-time point man on Russia projects—Michael Cohen—is trying to muddy the waters. 


137/ Incredibly, Cohen is now pretending that the 2013 Trump-Putin accord on Trump Tower Moscow *never happened*. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-cohen-trump-lawyer-russia_us_59a71a28e4b010ca2899e933 


138/ Cohen says Trump pal Felix Sater initiated a Trump Tower Moscow deal in late 2015 by saying he'd find an (unnamed) Russia developer. 


139/ In fact there's NO EVIDENCE that, in late '15, the '13 Trump-Putin deal wasn't just on hold—with Putin withholding permits as leverage. 


140/ This is why, in emails to Cohen, Sater promises to get Putin on board—as what was needed was for the deal to be RESTARTED, not started. 


141/ Sater underscores, though, that Putin's re-initiated support for Trump Tower Moscow (via permits) depends on Trump becoming president. 


142/ This is what Sater meant in writing Cohen, "Our boy Trump can become President of the United States of America and we can engineer it." 


143/ Sater—who Putin sent to whisk Trump out of bankruptcy in 2002, after Trump made Putin's girlfriend Miss Universe—*wasn't* being obtuse. 


144/ Because Trump did NOT then plan to forbid his children from pursuing foreign deals when he became president, Sater's plan made *sense*. 


145/ Trump and Putin would get Trump in the Oval—by unstated (we now know hacking) Putin help—and Trump's kids would get Trump Tower Moscow. 


146/ On the back end of his presidency—once out of office—Trump would get to enjoy the deal he originally was promised on November 9, 2013. 


147/ I interrupt the thread for BREAKING NEWS: Trump and Stephen Miller wrote a 4-page Comey Letter Mueller now has. https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/trump-drafted-letter-on-why-he-wanted-comey-out-1504303851 


148/ Michael Cohen now says Sater only meant that a Trump Tower Moscow deal would "engineer" a Trump presidency by making Trump look good. 


149/ In Cohen's—absurd—telling, Trump announcing mid-campaign he'd have a new tower up in Moscow by 2018 or 2019 would "engineer" a win. 


150/ In fact, Cohen's role in Sater's Russia policy-for-Trump Tower Moscow deal was much more substantial than receiving emails from Sater. 


151/ Indeed, shortly after Trump took office, Sater and Cohen coordinated to get a Putin-approved Ukraine deal to Mike Flynn and then Trump. 


152/ It's no coincidence at all that the two men working together to revive the 2013 Trump Tower Moscow deal in '15 were back at it in '17. 


153/ Here's a summary of the early 2017 Putin-Sater-Cohen-Flynn plot, foiled by Flynn's firing shortly thereafter. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/19/us/politics/donald-trump-ukraine-russia.html?mcubz=3 


154/ Flynn being key to *this* Trump-Putin backchannel *and* Kushner's from December 2016 underscores *why* Trump didn't want to fire him. 


155/ It also underscores why Trump almost rehired Flynn—despite the international scandal it would've caused—just 48 hours after firing him. 


156/ And it puts into perspective why Trump Obstructed Justice to try to get Comey to drop the Flynn case, then fired him when he wouldn't. 


158/ Cohen now claims—per usual for him, incredibly—he took Putin's peace deal from Artemenko but *never intended to do anything with it*. 


159/ He also—accidentally—revealed it was "one or two pages" in length, despite *also* saying that *he never opened the envelope it was in*. 


160/ He also—once again, INCREDIBLY—says his pal Sater never TOLD him he'd be meeting with a man then running for PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE. 


161/ Cohen and Sater have known each other DECADES; there's no reason to think—Sater's emails attest to this—they play coy with one another. 


162/ So Cohen is duping the media—and it's working—into thinking the 2013 and 2015 Trump Tower Moscow deals were entirely separate affairs. 


163/ In fact, the evidence confirms that it was ONE deal—and that ONE deal was negotiated by Trump personally in November of 2013 in Moscow. 


164/ To hide this, Cohen is now telling some WHOPPERS about his conversations with Trump on Trump Tower Moscow. They're actually hilarious. 


165/ Keep in mind Trump Tower Moscow is a) Trump's life ambition, b) was already negotiated for $2.4 billion in 2013, c) Trump's deal-baby. 


166/ Trump literally spent the years from 2002 to 2013—at a bare minimum—trying to get to Putin to make his first Russia deal a possibility. 


167/ The evidence suggests that, as Sater wrote in a private email to his pal Cohen, Trump Tower Moscow was KEY to Putin helping Trump win. 


168/ With that in mind, try not to cry *tears of laughter* reading Cohen describing Trump's involvement in Trump Tower Moscow to a reporter: 



169/ As if that howler wasn't enough, Cohen—the point man on Trump Tower Moscow in 2015—*also* pretended not to know who Dmitri Peskov was. 


170/ Peskov, Trump's top lieutenant, is the *one* person you *had* to go through in 2015 if you wanted Putin to give you a permit to build. 


171/ Cohen saying he barely knows Peskov is is like Trump saying he barely knows Tiffany or—as he did say, perjuring himself on video—Sater. 


172/ Indeed, just 72 HOURS before leaving for the Moscow pageant Trump perjured himself about whether he knew Sater: 



173/ The president knew he was committing a felony, and knew he was doing it on video, but also knew Trump Tower Moscow was heating up then. 


174/ If Trump hadn't lied on November 5, 2013, days later Russians might've heard whispers Russia was being dragged into a Trump civil suit. 


175/ So the only crime we know for ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN Trump committed 

—because he did it *on video*—was done to protect Trump Tower Moscow. 


176/ Don't forget Cohen's lies on all this. Don't forget that—per Steele—Cohen and Peskov were the TWO POINT MEN on the Trump-Putin accord. 


177/ So if Cohen's and Trump's lies seem brazen, realize that it's because we're down to brass tacks now: if they're caught, it's ballgame. 


178/ Was Cohen writing Peskov in January '16 about getting a permit for Trump Tower Moscow? Yes. Because Putin had reneged on the 2013 deal. 


179/ Trump admits he didn't think he'd win—so Cohen didn't either. Team Trump hedged bets—seeking Trump Tower Moscow WITHOUT the presidency. 


180/ Peskov—who's repeatedly lied since the Trump-Russia scandal broke—may well *not* have responded to Cohen, because Putin didn't need to. 


181/ What was called for, in January 2016, was Trump making clear to Putin he intended to run a winning campaign that was Russia-friendly. 


182/ That's why within 60 days of Peskov blowing off Cohen, Page was hired—and Papadopoulos; and Manafort; and Richard Burt as speechwriter. 


183/ As I've indicated in many other threads, all these hires were inexplicable from the standpoint of credentials or conflicts of interest. 


184/ Burt was a Russia pipeline advocate, as was Page (and McFarlane, a VIP at Trump's first foreign policy speech). http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-campaign-lobbyist-russian-pipeline-229264 


185/ These hires assured Putin Trump would EARN a Trump Tower Moscow via his policy—and the Russian oil-and-gas money men they had a friend. 


186/ Now read Steele's dossier—and you'll realize it's all about Agalarov, real estate deals and Trump Tower Moscow. https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/these-reports-allege-trump-has-deep-ties-to-russia?utm_term=.wxJrAkLJy#.bab0Ox9ze 


187/ Return to Don's June 9th meeting—you'll see it's all about Agalarov, real estate deals and Trump Tower Moscow. http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/01/politics/timeline-donald-trump-jr-/index.html 


188/ Who directed the June 9 meeting be set up? Agalarov, on Putin's orders. Who was there? Trump's then-point man on Russia deals, Don Jr. 


189/ Who was the guy arranging the meeting? Emin's manager, who partied with Trump and Aras in Moscow in 2013 and Aras says he doesn't know. 


190/ Kushner was there because he was working on a new Trump-Putin backchannel after the Cohen-Peskov fail (Flynn helped him out, later). 


191/ Manafort was Putin's assurance Trump would stay on track—he set up the Mayflower event with Jared so Trump/Sessions could meet Kislyak. 


192/ The Mayflower event Manafort—and Burt—had set up 60 days earlier was where Trump promised Putin—via Kislyak—a "good deal" on sanctions. 


193/ And Aras' continued involvement in Trump's life, carefully arranged by him and Emin, assured Trump that Trump Tower Moscow wasn't dead. 


194/ Emin tells interviewers he sees Trump regularly, speaks with Don on the phone regularly, and in general is still *very* close to Trump. 


195/ The message is clear: the November '13 accord Trump reached with Putin's agents, reaffirmed at the Mayflower in '16, is still in place. 


196/ Putin gets the unilateral lifting of sanctions Trump plotted on taking office and a friendly voice—eerily unflinchingly friendly—in DC. 


197/ Trump gets Russian enrichments while in office—see Steele's dossier on the December '16 Rosneft deal—and eventually Trump Tower Moscow. 


199/ What's perfectly clear, now, is the Trump-Russia scandal began in earnest the *moment* Trump corruptly gave Russia the 2013 MU pageant. 


200/ Mueller will investigate MANY crimes—see Manafort and money-laundering—but it comes down to Trump, Putin, and Trump Tower Moscow. {end} 


PS1/ I want to emphasize how key Papadopoulos was to this. He said he had ties to "Russian leadership" and Putin wanted to meet Team Trump. 


PS2/ So was Putin going to have Peskov give *permits* to Donald Trump, risking that all Trump wanted was his tower, not the presidency? No. 


PS3/ But did Putin want lines of communication? Yes. So he used allies and, on Trump's side, Papadopoulos. In December 2016, he used Gorkov. 


PS4/ In January 2017, he used Artemenko. In the Summer of 2016, he used Kislyak via Sessions and Manafort (at the RNC and Sessions' office). 


PS5/ Recent reports suggest that Rick Dearborn's "West Virginia contact" was another Putin attempt to find the right Trump-him back-channel. 


PS6/ But the one thing that NEVER happened, with these many back-channel attempts, was Putin agent Agalarov calling Trump Tower Moscow dead. 


PS7/ When did THAT happen? When the Russia scandal had blown up to the point that Putin had to publicly withdraw from all Trump connections. 


PS8/ The Agalarovs are fleeing, too: taking MANY MILLIONS in property losses to *quickly* sell their American homes: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4689276/Russian-billionaire-son-tied-Trump-scandal-sell-homes.html 


PS9/ When Putin was wooing Trump, his minions marked up 200%+ to enrich Trump. Now Aras and Emin are taking a BATH. http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/why-did-a-russian-pay-95m-to-buy-trumps-palm-beach-mansion/ 


PS10/ In other words, like many of Trump's business deals, his accord with Putin is turning out to be an unmitigated, destructive disaster.