President Donald Trump acknowledged Friday he considered undertaking a real estate project in Russia while he was running for president, according to a series of his tweets.
News of a later-scrapped Moscow Trump Tower deal—including consideration of a $50 million penthouse for Russian President Vladimir Putin—emerged on Thursday.
On Twitter, Trump defended pursuing the deal, writing it was both “very legal” and “very cool.”
“Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put it mildly),” Trump wrote. “Against all odds, I decide to run for President & continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked about it on the campaign trail…”
He added: “….Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn’t do the project. Witch Hunt!”
The Tweets come just a day after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted lying to Congress about the president’s plans for such a project. Cohen said, while he initially told lawmakers the project ceased in January 2016, it had actually continued into the year Trump was running for president.
Responding, Trump called Cohen a liar. Additionally, the president said it would have been legal if he had pursued the Moscow project.
Trump’s comments on Twitter also appear to contradict his son, Donald Trump Jr.’s, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017. At the time, Trump Jr. claimed that negotiations around a potential Trump Tower in Moscow concluded at the end of 2014.