President Donald Trump and the Russian Government have had some dangerous and frighteningly covert interactions. From the beginning, President Trump has been adamant that these claims are wrong, and that there are no connections between himself and Russia in either business or politics. President Trump even began the morning with a tweet insisting that all of these stories are perpetuating the fake news narrative.
During the campaign then presidential hopeful Donald Trump repeatedly exclaimed to his supporters that he had nothing to do with the Russians, either in business or politics. Some are beginning to question these statements, in particular with a recent interview with Emin Agalarov appearing in the business magazine Forbes.
Emin Agalarov is the son of one of Russia’s wealthiest men, a pop singer, and also very successful in Russian real estate. In the interview he stated that before Donald Trump began his campaign for president, he had made plans with Agalarov and his father for the purpose of building a Russian “Trump Tower,” but that with Trump’s entry to the presidential race plans were put on hold. He followed this information with the revelation that his family and the Trump family are in constant communication.
When it was announced that Donald Trump had won the presidential race, the Agalarov family sent a letter of congratulations, and received, in turn, a hand-written thank you letter. It is also being reported that the Agalarovs were in communication with Donald Trump Jr. in January. Agalarov has been quoted saying that now that Trump has won the presidency, he will not forget his friends.
The relationship between the Agalarov’s and President Trump reportedly began five years ago after the Russian family purchased licensing to host the Miss Universe programming in Moscow. This move was reportedly an effort to go into further licensing partnerships with Donald Trump. The family believed that being able to build a Trump Tower alongside an Agalarov tower would be an exciting project. Agalarov then stated that due to the presidential campaign the idea had been dropped and that if the campaign hadn’t been embarked he was sure they would today be building the tower.
Although agreements for the tower had been preliminarily signed, Donald Trump left the idea behind him to begin his quest for the presidency. It does show, however, that Trump’s claims to have no business with Russia are not valid. One could make the argument that because the deal was never completed, this is a mute point, but it does not explain away any personal relationship between the families.
Regarding the recent conversations between Agalarov and Donald Trump Jr, Agalarov did admit that the purpose of the communication was to express the fact that deals between the organizations would not be able to be executed until a leadership structure could be established on the Trump’s end. While that is the end of business, for now, it does not mean that should Trump decide to work with the Russians in the future he will not call upon the Agalarov family.
This exchange shows that Donald Trump did at one time at least have an interest in pursuing business relationships in Russia, by growing his empire with another Trump Tower. What this means in regards to his pre-election claims that no such relationships existed may be yet to be seen.