While Donald Trump was in the middle of running for president, his namesake company wanted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse apartment in a Trump-branded building it was trying to develop in Moscow, according to the person who came up with the pitch.
Felix Sater, a real estate developer with ties to the Russian government, told BuzzFeed News he came up with the idea while trying to court investors for Trump Tower Moscow with the President’s erstwhile personal fixer Michael Cohen during the summer of 2016. Cohen approved of the idea and discussed it with a representative for Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s longtime adviser and press secretary, according to Sater.
Sater reasoned wealthy Russian oligarchs would jump on an opportunity to invest in a building that would house Putin.
“In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin,” Sater told the outlet. “My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin.”