We Read All 284 Pages Of BuzzFeed's Trump Tower Moscow Documents, And Now We Hate Everybody In This Story
A couple weeks back, BuzzFeed News did a big story on how Michael Cohen lied to Congress at the specific direction of Donald Trump, which led special counsel Robert Mueller to release a rare statement saying, "OK we are not saying we're debunking your story, but we're not NOT saying it, but anyway, we don't like the way you characterized some of the things in your report, but we're not gonna say which ones. TAKE THAT!" And BuzzFeed was like THE FUCK YOU SAY? And Robert Mueller never replied with the fuck he say.
If BuzzFeed was on the story of the Trump Tower Moscow deal -- you know, the thing Cohen lied to Congress about -- before all that, now BuzzFeed is a dog with a bone and it is going to bury that bone in the backyard and dig it back up and bury it again until the full story is reported out. DAMMIT.
So in that spirit, BuzzFeed has released a 284-page tranche of documents outlining all the steps the Trump Organization took to build a big beautiful tower in Moscow, and get Putin's bankers to pay for it! All while Trump was on the campaign trail lying and saying he had nothing to do with Russia!
Wonkette read them all, because OF COURSE we did. BuzzFeed published the docs in a helpful timeline format, lining events up with Trump's own public statements about Russia, so Wonkette will sort of follow that format, but condense it bigly, and also add dick jokes. (LIKE WE DO.)
Stay tuned to the end, because there is a Trump Tower Meeting surprise!
What Do You Want To Do Today, Brain?!
First of all, you need to know that these guys are SOOOOOOO grandiose, especially Russian-American businessman/sometimes FBI informant/sometimes Trump adviser Felix Sater, who is also bugfuck nuts, as far as we can tell. Sater was convinced -- for we don't know why -- that building a Trump Tower Moscow was going to create WORLD PEACE, and that not only that, if they could do the ribbon cutting with Putin and Trump onstage in Moscow, then Trump would win the Republican nomination and the presidency AND EVENTUALLY, THE ENTIRE WORLD.
Also, Sater wanted to be ambassador to the Bahamas, because sick beaches, bro.
Here is your condensed timeline with dick joke accoutrements added:
October 12, 2015: Cohen and Sater are sending Trump Tower Moscow plans and proposals and letters of intent back and forth. Sater suggests that the VTB Bank, which is Russian-state-owned and American-state-sanctioned, might do the financing, because the president, Andrey Kostin, is on board with the idea. Now all they gotta do is get Putin on board! And Sater's got a date penciled in for a meeting with Putin's deputy! "See?" says Felix Sater, in Wonkette's paraphrased words. "I can do stuff! And here you thought all I could do was let Ivanka play in Putin's office. I'll show you, Michael Cohen!"
October 13, 2015: A version of the letter of intent for the project is signed by Andrey Rozov, head of the planned contractor, which is for real called "IC Expert." Sater says not only will it be a yooge luxurious gold-plated tower, it will fix relations with Russia and make $$ and also CREATE WORLD PEACE. Guess Trump's trash palaces are like the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey, imbued with special powers to advance mankind upward and onward! Meanwhile, Trump was lying to his followers and saying he was doing no business with Russia, like you do.
October 17, 2015: Trump tweets that Putin loves America now.
October 21, 2015: Trump Organization makes more tweaks to letter of intent, including a provision that says Trump himself is allowed to talk about the project, long as he doesn't say any secrets. Guess he wanted to tell his followers he was doing collusion?
October 28, 2015: They agree! Everybody signs! Some collusion! Some collusion! A little bit of collusion!
We will never get over the fact that that is the president of the United States's signature. If the Russian developer can have a fucking normal signature, why does Trump's look like one of those things where they "teach" an elephant to "paint" with its feet?
Anyway, as BuzzFeed notes, just after this, Ivanka Trump got an email from a Russian lady married to a famous Russian wrestler named Dmitry Klokov, whom she connects with Michael Cohen, and who tells Cohen he's willing to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin, so they can REALLY get going on the tower collusion.
November 3, 2015: Trump does a press conference. Says he's going to have such a good time with Russia! Does not say why.
November 3, 2015, ten minutes later: Sater is so fucking sexcited now! He is going to the Bahamas with the Russian developer and some other guy who's close to some guys who are close to Putin, and he emails Cohen because he needs video to show Putin of that thing Trump just said about how America and Russia are going to fall in love when Trump is president! In return, Sater can get Putin to say a thing next to Trump at the ribbon-cutting for Trump Tower Moscow, and "we can own this election."
SATER: Michael lets go. 2 boys from Brooklyn getting a USA president elected. This is good really good.
In another email from Sater just a few minutes earlier, there was a quote that might sound familiar:
SATER: I will get Putin in on this program and we will get Donald elected. [...] Buddy our boy can become president of the USA and I will engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this ...
What's interesting is that these fucking goobers really wanted a lot of this to be in public, or at least Sater did:
SATER: Michael, Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, and Donald owns the republican nomination. And possibly beats Hillary and our boy is in.
Why Sater and Cohen thought this was a good strategy for winning an American election, we do not know. (Sure beats going to Michigan, EH, HILLARY, EH, EH? We are kidding.) But hey, maybe they were right! Maybe Trump woulda only lost the popular vote by like TWO million if he had gotten to break ground on a skyscraper in Russia! Rubes in the flyover states are totally into that shit.
Anyway, at this point THEY WERE OFF! Felix Sater and Michael Cohen were doing the deal, they were getting passports ready to go to Moscow, and then ...
December 2, 2015: Like some asshole, Trump said to the Associated Press that he had barely even heard of Felix Sater! Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten says Sater only worked with Trump for like five minutes during the Eisenhower administration or something, he could not remember.
So ... OK! Guess they weren't ready to be that public about the deal. Or about whether they had ever even met any of the people involved in the deal.
December 17, 2015: Putin says Trump is just the bee's boobies, by which he meant "Trump is cool, I guess." This made Felix Sater very sexcited again, so he emailed Cohen to say "now is the time," and demanded Cohen's and Trump's passports, so they could set up these Russia trips and secretly plan to do NO CONSTRUCTION, NO CONSTRUCTION, YOU ARE THE CONSTRUCTION with Putin and VTB Bank in Russia.
December 18, 2015: Trump returns the favor to Putin, telling all the media that Putin is just the sweetest murderous dictator he has ever been desperate to meet someday.
Between then and New Year's, Sater and Cohen spend many days ARGUE SEXTING each other, because it is just taking too long to get the meetings in Moscow set up, and Cohen is very annoyed with Sater, and Sater is like "dude!" and Michael Cohen is like "bro!" and Cohen's like "Guess I'll set up the Russia collusion meetings myself!" and Sater is like "SAYS WHO?" and Cohen is like "THAT'S MY LINE!" and Sater is like "I am very upset that Trump said he didn't know me in the newspaper" and Cohen is like "NOT EVEN SURE I'D ADMIT TO FUCKING KNOWING YOU RIGHT NOW."
Also, Sater said his family didn't even go to St. Barth's that year because his kids were upset, because all their friends were asking about the story in the newspaper where Trump said he didn't know Sater. You know, typical stuff kids cry about a lot.
Cohen was like "PFFFFFT, I do not believe you didn't come to St. Barth's because your kids were crying, you crybaby liar dipshit."
Not fucking around, these are real texts:
Sater says this all made him feel like a real SCHMUCKLER, that's right, a SCHMUCKLER.
The point is that Cohen was pissed and kicked Sater off the project, and he wanted to be DAMNED sure he wasn't "embarrassed" when "Mr. T" asked what was going on with the deal and he had nothing to report. (You know, because Trump was totally in the loop.)
The other point is that these people are fucking weird and we hate all of them.
December 31, 2015: Wait, Michael Cohen! Felix Sater has an offer for financing from a mom-and-pop Russian bank! Would that be OK?????
Cohen is like "WHO THE FUCK IS THIS CRACKER BARREL RUSSIAN BANK?"
Sater assures him that Cracker Barrel Savings & Loan is still partially owned by the Russian state, and is associated with VTB bank, but they can't talk to the head of VTB Bank right now because he is, like, out of town.
Michael Cohen accuses Sater of "making me look incompetent," which as far as we know is usually a job Michael Cohen performs by himself.
Anyway, at this point Sater is still off the project, according to Cohen, who is very mad RN.
BuzzFeed notes that just after this is when Cohen started making his own Hail Marys to Russians, emailing Dmitry Peskov, AKA Putin's Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying HAAAAAAAAALP! (It should be noted here that the Steele Dossier alleges that Peskov was Putin's main man in charge of all the Hillary Clinton dirt.) After some phone tag, Cohen tells Peskov's office that they plan to give Putin the $50 million penthouse in the still-at-this-point imaginary tower in Moscow, as a
present bribe present bribe normal gesture.
January 25, 2016: Somehow the project is miraculously back on, and Sater and Cohen are talking again, because Sater's people have come through, a day late and a dollar short, which is just cheap enough for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump! Cohen gets invited to Moscow by a developer named Andrey Ryabinskiy, who also says he wants to bring Trump there! Hooray! Gonna elect a president by building skyscrapers again!
January 26, 2016: Felix Sater texts Michael Cohen, "That was a butt dial." And also some other stuff:
February to June 2016: Trump keeps lying about his dealings with Russia, big surprise. And he's still so excited because he thinks Putin called him a "genius," when in reality, Putin called him "colorful," which can be interpreted several ways.
After that, Cohen and Sater sexted a lot about the details of the Russia trips they were planning for Cohen and Trump. BuzzFeed notes that Cohen and Sater moved their texts over to an encrypted app at this point, which is notable because Cohen lied to Congress and said the negotiations over this project ended in January.
It was decided eventually that Cohen would go to Moscow before the Republican National Convention, and Trump would go just after, once he was officially the GOP nominee.
Now Here's Where Things Get Weird!
After ALL THIS BACK AND FORTH, and after Cohen is invited to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum by Dmitry Huckabee Sanders, where maybe he will get to meet Vladimir Putin, the damn thing just goes POOF in June of 2016, days before Cohen is supposed to make that Russia trip. (Or at least it appears to.)
Check out this text message:
June 9, June 9 ... what was happening that afternoon? At the very same time, actually? OH YEAH, it was Donald Trump Jr.'s treason meeting of Russian shame! Indeed, just above, when Sater texts Cohen that he probably will get to meet Putin, Junior's meeting is literally happening right then.
Days later, Sater has all the documents ready for Cohen to jet off to Russia for the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, but unfortunately Cohen has gone ...
The conference in Russia is starting on the 16th! Two days later! MEETING PUTIN!
FINALLY, Cohen texts back on June 14, which happens to be the day Ellen Nakashima reports in the Washington Post that the Russians hacked the DNC.
When Cohen and Sater hook up that day (not for sex), Cohen tells him the trip and the deal and the whole damn thing are off.
OR DOES HE? We don't actually know for a fact what Cohen told him right then.
And there the documents end.
END OF STORY! Except LOL Probably Not.
Of course, in some ways the action was just beginning. All the WikiLeaks drops started, Trump publicly conspired with Russia by asking WikiLeaks to find Hillary Clinton's mythical 33,000 missing emails, Paul Manafort was kicked off the campaign for smelling like Russian crime, the Obama administration went public in October with how Russia had its thumb on the scale to elect Trump, and before you knew it, Russia did succeed in helping to steal the election for Trump by negative three million votes.
But WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED during those days in June, a month before the Republican Convention, to kill this Trump Tower deal? Or to ALLEGEDLY kill it? What spooked Michael Cohen? What spooked Donald Trump? Or were they not spooked at all, but rather had to change their plans real quick?
Marcy Wheeler is connecting some dots. As we know, the Trump Tower meeting on June 9 ended up being about lifting Russian sanctions, in exchange for Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, to help Trump win the election. Indeed, the set-up emails for that meeting state that the Hillary dirts they were allegedly bringing were part of Russia's ongoing campaign to help Daddy Trump win. ("If it's what you say, I love it! Especially later in the summer!" replied Don Jr.) As Wheeler notes, there's lots of testimony from people who attended the meeting suggesting that Junior told them they'd be able to deal with the sanctions issue once Daddy was IN POWER.
Later that night, Trump was bitching on Twitter about those 33,000 emails:
We know Michael Cohen didn't go to St. Petersburg two days later. But it would seem that a whole bunch of travel involving Trump people and Russians did take place weeks later, just after the Republican convention, in early August. Have you read our crazy-ass Carrie Mathison tick tock of what we know and what we don't know about all that travel? It may involve a jet owned by a Russian oligarch named Dmitry Rybolovlev, with stops in Croatia and Hungary ... and maybe possibly Michael Cohen somehow ended up in Prague, just like the dossier says.)
We asked long ago if the so-called Trump Tower Moscow deal, which Sater and Cohen started out bragging would elect a president and bring about WORLD PEACE, somehow ended up being a cover for a whole different kind of quid pro quo between Trump and Russia. We still think that's a likely possibility.
Something made Trump disavow his connection with Felix Sater back in December of 2015. Something made Cohen go ballistic on Sater around that time. And after they started talking again, something made Cohen and Sater quit chatting on regular text in January of 2016 and start using an encrypted app. And something made the original plans for the Trump Tower Moscow deal fall apart that winter, then pick back up again -- which led Sater to spend months running around organizing visas and Russian trips like he was going to get to build a real building, in Moscow! -- and then something finally and suddenly made the deal seemingly stop, at least as far as Felix Sater was concerned, in June of 2016, during the same week when Junior had his treason meeting with the Russians, and the first news reports of Russian hacking came out.
We have no idea yet. But we bet Robert Mueller knows, and we are more than certain BuzzFeed News is going to find out if it kills them.
Is this your open thread? Fuck yeah it is. See you at SOTU time.
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