Blueprints for a luxury Moscow skyscraper and hotel bearing the name of Donald Trump have been published, a day after the president’s lawyer insisted “no plans were ever made”.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Rudy Giuliani sought to downplay previous comments in which he told the New York Times and other media outlets over the weekend that discussions about a proposed Trump Tower in the Russian capital had continued throughout 2016.
The comments were made amid claims Mr Trump had directed his then lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to congress about The Apprentice star’s property dealings.
“First of all, the Times was absolutely wrong. Probably just as wrong as BuzzFeed was. I never said he had conversations about a skyscraper in Moscow,” the New Yorker quoted Mr Giuliani as saying in an interview published on Monday.
“The only thing that ever happened was that they submitted a letter of intent about a possible project in Moscow that never went beyond that. No money was ever paid, no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file. Nothing ever happened to it. Much ado about nothing, because the New York Times wants to crucify the president.”
No more than a day later, BuzzFeed News published what it said were indeed the plans for a proposed Moscow Trump Tower. The building would have been the tallest in Europe, the news site reported, beneath a headline that said: “Trump’s lawyer said there were “No Plans” for Trump Tower Moscow. Here they are.”
It said its story about the towers was based on “hundreds of pages of business documents, emails, text messages, and architectural plans, obtained by BuzzFeed News over a year of reporting”.
It said it had obtained a plan by a New York architect for a building with a glass obelisk that would have been 100 stories high.
The project never went ahead, though the plan is now part of the investigation by Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the nation's alleged attempt to influence the 2016 election.
It quoted Russian real estate developer Andrey Rozov saying to Cohen in September 2015: “The building design you sent over is very interesting and will be an architectural and luxury triumph. I believe the tallest building in Europe should be in Moscow, and I am prepared to build it.”
Last week, BuzzFeed News reported that special prosecutor Mr Mueller believed Cohen had been directed by Mr Trump to lie to Congress about his plans for the tower.
Mr Trump and the White House denied the report and Mr Mueller issued a rare statement saying: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterisation of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”
BuzzFeed has said it stands by its report.
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Which political party will form the government at Centre?

UPA (Congress)