The Real Deal Los Angeles

Trump tried to develop towers in Russia in the ’80s: report

Developer partnered with oligarchs, negotiated with Soviet officials

August 02, 2016 05:00PM

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From left: Vladimir Putin, Trump Soho and Donald Trump

From left: Vladimir Putin, Trump Soho and Donald Trump

From the New York website: Donald Trump attempted to build a luxury hotel in Soviet Moscow in the 1980s and has repeatedly sought development opportunities in Russia, while keeping close relationships with post-Soviet oligarchs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In his 1987 book “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote that he flew to Moscow in 1987 to negotiate with Soviet officials about building a luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin. “I was impressed with the ambition of the Soviet officials to make a deal,” he wrote of the negotiations, which ultimately failed.

In the 2000s, Trump partnered with Kazakh billionaire Tevfik Arif and his Bayrock Group [TRDataCustom] on the Trump Soho development. The two reportedly also planned to build hotels in Moscow and Kiev, among other places, but the projects never got off the ground. “It’s ridiculous that we wouldn’t be investing in Russia. Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment,” he said in a 2007 legal deposition.

Trump also partnered with Russian-born Alexander Shnaider, a wealthy steel trader, on a Trump tower development in Toronto.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son Eric Trump said in a 2008 speech, according to a transcript.

The developer-turned-Republican presidential candidate recently invited controversy by defending Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and suggesting that Russian hackers should hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails. [WSJ] — Konrad Putzier