A footnote in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report describes a new nugget of information that may relate to one of the most salacious elements of the unverified golden showers dossier about Donald Trump.
The Mueller report briefly mentions the incident, pegged to the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant. It is one element in the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele about potential Russian compromising material held over Trump.
A footnote in the report references the infamous unverified Moscow hotel incident. It also stipulates that Trump may have known about claimed Russian tapes of him as far back as October 2016 – before the election, and that the information traveled through longtime Trump lawyer and former fixer Michael Cohen.
Donald Trump and Olivia Culpo attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The Mueller report describes email information a Russian businessman sent to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen about unverified ‘compromising tapes’ of Trump from 2013
The report references Former FBI Director James Comey’s briefing of Trump during the transition, and that it ‘included the Steele reporting’s unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant.’
Comey has said he decided he needed to tell Trump about it so he knew it was out there.
According to the report, ‘During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump. On October 30, 2016, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, ‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know …. ‘
According to the report, Rtskhiladze said ‘tapes’ referred to ‘compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia.
President Trump has railed against the ‘phony’ dossier, which included unverified allegations about his conduct in a Moscow hotel room
George Wayne; Aya Nat and Giorgi Rtskhiladze at Artist Nick Moss Debut Solo Exhibition At Leila Heller Gallery on November 7, 2018 in New York City. Rtskhiladze wrote Michael Cohen about Russian ‘tapes’ of Trump
‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else,’ wrote Giorgi Rtskhiladze (R), pictured with George Ramishviliand at Language Of Fashion presented by the School of Visual Arts on September 8, 2016 in New York City
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 09: Gabriela Isler walks the stage as the newly crowned Miss Universe during the Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia
Longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says he told Trump about the information
Singer Emin Agalarov kicked off the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians when his publicist reached out to Donald Trump Jr
The email said the tapes were held by Crocus Group, which is headed by Azerbaijan-born real estate magnate Aras Agalarov
Crocus Group is the real estate company headed by Azerbaijan-born oligarch Aras Agalarov and his son, Emin. It is Emin who set in motion the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians. According to the Mueller report, Aras Agalarov was engaged in communications about the meeting in advance.
The Steele dossier had mentioned the pageant as one of many areas where it stated that the Russians held ‘kompromat’ – compromising leverage – that the Russians had obtained on Trump, much of it financial in nature.
Trump has fumed that the ‘phony’ dossier influenced bad conduct by ‘dirty cops’ in the FBI, and his Republican allies have said the information was used as the basis to surveil Trump advisor Carter Page, who had Russia ties – in effect corrupting the Mueller investigation.
According to the Mueller report, ‘Cohen said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze.’ It adds that ‘Rtskhiladze said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen.’
Cohen, who Trump has termed a ‘rat,’ assisted prosecutors and ultimately denounced Trump. He is set to begin a three-year prison sentence next month for lying, tax issues, and a campaign finance violation tied to hush payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump.
The businessman, Rtskhiladze, told Forbes about his partnership with Trump and his plan to go ahead with a planned Trump Tower in his home country using all but the Trump name. He told the publication in 2017 he spoke to Trump Organization chief counsel Alan Garten ‘almost every week, and said of the idea to piggy back off Trump’s name: ‘Michael Cohen is going to hate me, and Alan Garten is going to hate me even more.’