The proposed Trump Tower real estate deal in Moscow included an idea to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a penthouse, it was reported Thursday.

According to CNN, Russian-born American real estate developer Felix Sater — who is based in New York City — revealed this idea, as he was collaborating on the project with President Donald Trump‘s then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Sater was formerly one of Trump’s business associates. 

On Thursday, Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower deal, and the president responded by calling his former fixer “weak.” Cohen’s latest plea deal marks another victory for special counsel Robert Muellerwho is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

Sater reportedly called the idea of the Putin penthouse a “marketing ploy,” since the goal of this project, he said, was to attract more potential buyers of the Trump Tower building in Moscow by allowing Russia’s president to have a home there.


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The penthouse was set to be valued at $50 million. There is no explicit indication as to whether Trump was made aware of the concept of the penthouse.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giulianione of Trump’s attorneys, denied the president had any involvement in the deal.

“The story is a story. The President never heard of this and the concept never got anywhere beyond an unfunded letter of intent and never even a proposal or draft contract,” Giuliani told CNN.

Cohen had initially claimed discussions on the Trump Tower deal had concluded in January 2016. However, on Thursday it was announced he and Sater had been talking about the project later in the election cycle. Cohen also reportedly talked about the concept of the Putin penthouse with a representative of the Russian leader’s press secretary, BuzzFeed reported.

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