mightily by our press.”36 Trump also said that “there’s nothing that I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now,” and in response to a question aboUt whether he would recognize Crimea as Russian territory and consider lilting sanctions, Trump replied, “We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking.”37 During the press conference, Trump repeated “1 have nothing to do with Russia” ﬁve times.38 He stated that “the closest [he] came to Russia” was that Russians may have purchased a home or condos from him.39 He said that after he held the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013 he had been interested in working with Russian companies that “wanted to put a lot of money into developments in Russia” but “it never worked out.”40 He explained, “[f]rankly, I didn’t want to do it for a couple of different reasons. But we had a major developer . . . that wanted to develop property in Moscow and other places. But we decided not to do it.”"1 The Trump Organization, however, had been pursuing a building project in Moscow—the Trump Tower Moscow project— from approximately September 2015 through, June 2016, and the candidate was regularly updated on developments, including possible trips by Michael Cohen to Moscow to promote the deal and by Trump himself to ﬁnalize it.42 Cohen recalled speaking with Trump aﬁer the press conference about Trump’s denial of any business dealings in Russia, which Cohen regarded as untrue.43 Trump told Cohen that Trump Tower Moscow was not a deal yet and said, “Why mention it if it is not a deal?”44 According to Cohen, at around this time, in response to Trump’s disavowal of connections to RuSSia, campaign 3" Donald Trump News Conference, Dora], Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). Within ﬁve hours of Trump’s remark, a Russian intelligence service began targeting email accounts associated with Hillary Clinton for possible hacks. See Volume I, Section III, supra. In written answers submitted in this investigation, the President stated that he made the “Russia, if you’re listening” statement “in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer.” Written Responses of Donald J . Trump (Nov. 20, 2,018), at 13 (Response to Question II, Part (d)). 37 Donald Trump News Conference, Doro], Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). In his written answers submitted in this investigation, the President said that his statement that “we’ll be looking” at Crimea and sanctions “did not communicate any position.” Written Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018), at 17 (Response to Question IV, Part (g)). 33 Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). 39 Donald Trump News Conference, Dora], Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). 40 Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C~SPAN (July 27, 2016). 4' Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). 42 The Trump Tower Moscow project and Trump’s involvement‘in it is discussed in detail in Volume I, Section IV.A.1, supra, and Volume II, Section ILK, infra. “3 Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 4. 44 Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 4-5. In WAT/WW W .
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