All laid bare: Trump/Russia collusion started in 2013, continued for years

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Kremlin.ru / Kremlin.ru putin and trump smiling...
Kremlin.ru / Kremlin.ru

In yet another massive tweetstorm (200 tweets!), law professor Seth Abramson has laid out in stunning detail the origins of Donald Trump’s collusion with the Russian government — going back years, and all hinging on a multi-billion-dollar real estate deal: Trump Tower Moscow. It’s a deal that Putin has been teasing in front of Trump for years, getting him to salivate and bite, then pulling back, over and over, until The Donald is crazy in love with Vlad for the punishment he’s getting. You thought Trump was a narcissist? He’ll be a masochist for that kind of money.

Buckle up, folks, it’s going to be a long ride — but a very enlightening one.

1/ On February 2, 2017, Kremlin agent and Trump pal Aras Agalarov announced the Trump Tower Moscow project was dead. https://t.co/j7nYnBZhIl

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.)

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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31/ A May 2013 NYP article, "Trump Researching 2016 Run," revealed Trump had spent $1 million on electoral research. https://t.co/P4Pik7c2M0

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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."

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.)

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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."

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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51/ Emin was then married to the daughter of Azerbaijan's president. Trump had signed a big Azerbaijan deal in 2012. https://t.co/wehgA3pxvD

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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."

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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]."

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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101/ After the pageant there was a "vodka-infused afterparty" at a "glitzy Moscow nightclub." Trump was "energized." https://t.co/mgYiMVuuDr

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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103/ How do we KNOW it paid off? On November 19 Sberbank announced a $2.4 BILLION INVESTMENT in the Trump-Aras deal. https://t.co/2mRQ6Ipaly

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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107/ Per Bloomberg, Agalarov says Trump was in Moscow anywhere from—
depending upon which lie Aras uses—2 to 6 days. https://t.co/YdXy8eSEO6

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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. https://t.co/5Nr4vlaKFz

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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115/ So per Bloomberg's account, the events described in Steele's dossier could've been the night of the 8th OR 9th. https://t.co/YdXy8eSEO6

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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122/ Trump's chief defense to claims that Putin has kompromat on him is that he acted like a saint while in Moscow: https://t.co/dhBzBxGhdw

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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: pic.twitter.com/Uet6phmPc5

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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126/ But don't take Trump's, Aras', and Emin's (dishonest) word for it—read for yourself what the CIA told the BBC: https://t.co/tzYZIxj0WI

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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."

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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I’m skipping #147, which conveys the breaking news of Trump’s letter on Comey’s firing. Back to our story:

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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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153/ Here's a summary of the early 2017 Putin-Sater-Cohen-Flynn plot, foiled by Flynn's firing shortly thereafter. https://t.co/tZm4JOGSb3

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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157/ For this reason, this thread hereby incorporates—below—my recent thread exposing the Trump-Flynn relationship: https://t.co/3xjPq4GDl7

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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*.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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: pic.twitter.com/2X80AWrhTV

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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An error here: Dmitri Peskov is Putin’s top lieutenant, not Trump’s.

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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184/ Burt was a Russia pipeline advocate, as was Page (and McFarlane, a VIP at Trump's first foreign policy speech). https://t.co/xVG4a0nUAg

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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186/ Now read Steele's dossier—and you'll realize it's all about Agalarov, real estate deals and Trump Tower Moscow. https://t.co/0qwW8cbMax

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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198/ For more on how Trump was scheduled to benefit directly from the Rosneft deal in December '16, see this thread: https://t.co/hbfv708OFn

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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.

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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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).

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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PS8/ The Agalarovs are fleeing, too: taking MANY MILLIONS in property losses to *quickly* sell their American homes: https://t.co/Trc29hfrYW

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 1, 2017

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

— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 2, 2017

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I’m pretty sure that eventually we’ll get a fascinating book out of this … one tweet at a time.

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