“I was wrong if I said it,” Giuliani told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I haven’t seen the quote, but I probably meant to say there was never a deal, much less a signed one.”
The comment from Giuliani marked an acknowledgment from the former New York mayor that Trump had indeed signed the letter that set the stage for negotiations for Trump condominiums, a hotel and commercial property in the heart of Moscow.
Giuliani suggested over the weekend that Trump had spoken with his former attorney Michael Cohen past January 2016 about a Trump Tower in Moscow. Asked to clarify by CNN, Giuliani also asserted, “There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it.”
Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” that the statement from Giuliani was part of a pattern of dishonesty in Trump’s orbit regarding Russia.
“Once again, and this seems like a daily occurrence, we are finding that the President and the President’s people cannot be honest on the subject of Russia,” Himes said.
The non-binding document is also signed by Andrey Rozov, owner of I.C. Expert Investment Co., the Russian firm that would have been responsible for developing the property.
The Moscow project never ultimately came to fruition, but has been a key topic in Cohen’s legal saga.
When Cohen pleaded guilty to a charge from Mueller’s office last month, he said he lied about Trump’s knowledge of the proposed Moscow project. He had previously claimed such discussions ended in January 2016 — ahead of the formal start of the primaries. But in his admission of guilt, Cohen called the previous statement a lie on Trump’s behalf.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump repeatedly denied doing any business in Russia. He did not tell the public that his company explored the business deal with Russia.
While the potential Trump Tower Moscow deal was on the table, then-candidate Trump was speaking positively about working with Russian President Vladimir Putin and minimizing Russia’s aggressive military moves around the world.
CNN previously obtained a draft of the letter that Trump eventually signed. In 2017, Cohen told congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that Trump had signed the letter. Donald Trump Jr. also testified to Congress that his father signed the letter of intent.