, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This is a great summary, though a key event Buzzfeed misses is the event that likely caused Putin to for the first time quasi-endorse Trump and for Sater to tell the Trumps, in consequence, "now is the time": Trump adviser Flynn dines with Putin in Moscow in early December 2015.
1/ Other things to remember: Cohen and Sater are close friends from childhood, not mere business acquaintances. Second, it seems likely Cohen starts to get angry at Sater about the delay in signing the deal because he knows the primaries are coming up and Trump might not do well.
2/ As evidenced by Sater asking Cohen to get him a video of Trump discussing his pro-Russia policies for Putin to review, both Cohen and Sater were aware that if Trump did not do well in the early primaries he'd lose the cultural capital he needed to cut a tower deal with Putin.
3/ But surely the most striking thing in the article is that Trump's lawyer Cohen communicated to the Kremlin directly just before the primaries started that Trump was willing to bribe Putin with a $50 million penthouse to approve the deal. Not long after, Russia's hacking began.
4/ Another missing element is what it could possibly be that causes Cohen to (allegedly) call off the tower deal on June 14. In Proof of Collusion, June 14 is almost the exact date the Trump team's anger over Russia not providing Clinton's stolen emails causes a change of course.
5/ It's at that time that the Trumps realize finally that their Russian business partners the Agalarovs aren't going to get them the stolen Clinton documents directly, and Team Trump initiates at least 4 secret efforts to get to Russian hackers to secure the documents themselves.
6/ So Cohen "calling off" the deal could be Trump's petulance, a negotiating tactic (Trump thought he had the upper hand as the presumptive GOP nominee), or a foreknowledge of the hacking that caused Trump to back off for fear of being caught redhanded in a deal with the Kremlin.
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