Monday, 22 April 2019
Trumped up charges over Russian contacts?
Letter submitted to the New York Times:
You report in “A culture of lies in a hotbed of conflict” (New York Times, April 20, international edition; https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/us/politics/mueller-report-coverage.html) that former White House advisor Steve Bannon is cited by the Mueller report as recording the President as asserting: “I don’t know any Russians.”
This is demonstrably false.
Mueller reports ( pages 74-78) that in December 2015 Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer, now a convicted felon, Michael Cohen, was in intense email correspondence with Felix Sater, a New York-based Russian fixer, who was helping Trump with a big real estate deal in Moscow.
Sater, also a previously convicted felon, had across the decade several earlier business involvements with Trump, including in the Florida real estate market.
Yet, as the New York Times reported on April 5, 2016 (“Donald Trump settles a Real Estate Lawsuit, and a Criminal Case Was Closed” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/06/us/politics/donald-trump-soho-settlement.html), Trump brazenly stated in a 2013 Court deposition “If Mr Sater were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.”
When it comes to Russian contacts, Mr Trump really has a problem with the truth.