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Giuliani flips story, says Trump signed letter

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer, now says Trump did sign a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow after denying days earlier that it had been signed. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 11:47 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 12:17 PM

A newly obtained document shows President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming on Sunday the document was never signed.

CNN's Chris Cuomo obtained a copy of the signed letter of intent that set the stage for negotiations for Trump condominiums, a hotel and commercial property in the heart of Moscow. The letter is dated October 28, 2015, and bears the President's signature.

When asked on Sunday about the letter, Giuliani incorrectly told CNN's Dana Bash that it had not been signed.

"It was a real estate project. There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it," Giuliani told Bash.

On Wednesday night, Giuliani admitted he was incorrect.

"I was wrong if I said it," he told Bash. "I haven't seen the quote, but I probably meant to say there was never a deal much less a signed one."

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.

READ: How Trump Tower fits into Russian interference

Trump did not tell the public during the 2016 presidential campaign that his company explored the business deal with Russia and instead repeatedly claimed he had "nothing to do with Russia." But the project, which was ultimately scrapped, would've given Trump's company a $4 million upfront fee, no upfront costs, a percentage of the sales and control over marketing and design. The deal also included an opportunity to name the hotel spa after Trump's daughter Ivanka.

The special counsel's team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election alleges the deal could have been lucrative for the Trump Organization.

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.

Giuliani suggested on Sunday that Trump had spoken with Michael Cohen, Trump's corporate attorney at the time, later than January 2016 about the proposed Moscow project, and said in an interview with ABC that the conversations may have gone as far as toward the end of the general election period.

"According to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to November of -- covered all the way up to November 2016," Giuliani said, seemingly referencing Trump's written responses to special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Tuesday, Giuliani told CNN that the question to Trump from Mueller was more generally asking if Trump talked to Cohen about the project. The question was not about specific dates or conversations, Giuliani said.

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.

Last week, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging payments during the 2016 presidential election to silence women who claimed affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the affairs.

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