As the Trump-Russia noose tightens, reports of Donald Trump Jr. as a keynote speaker at the Russian Real Estate Summit in 2008 are re-surfacing.
"One Putin ally was an elected legislator in the Duma or national parliament of his party," according to The Huffington Post. "And the other a senior trade official involved in organizing development around the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, in which the Russian president was widely involved."
This is the latest edition of #TrumpLeaks coming from the Democratic Coalition's Scott Dworkin.
According to photos from press releases and information unearthed from the archives of the internet, Trump Jr. remarked that he planned to build hotels in Russia and sell the Trump name to franchises.
"The Trump Organization corporation has announced that it wants to build elite housing and hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi and to sell licenses to other developers to use the Trump name," Trump Jr. proclaimed at the conference, according to Dworkin's leaks.
The Trump family has repeatedly denied the involvement of any family members in business with Russia. However, this evidence proves that members of the family not only networked with Russian officials and businesses, but also cultivated business interests in the country.
“We have repeatedly heard from the Trump campaign and The Trump Organization that no one in the family has conducted business in Russia,” Dworkin, the Democratic Coalition’s senior advisor, told the Post, “but now we see Donald Trump Jr. as the keynote speaker at a Russian real estate conference described as "a key date in the calendar of ALL top real estate professionals, who are interested, or currently doing business in the real estate sector in Russia."
“At some point we have to ask ourselves when do we stop taking Trump’s word and start looking at the facts?”
Valery Victorovich Panov, Ph. D., one of the speakers at the summit, was a legislator in Russia's Duma and a member of the Duma’s Committee on Credit Organizations and Financial Markets. However, since 2012, Panov has fallen out of favor with the establishment. He was accused of murder and is currently a wanted man by Interpol, for the bribery accusations leveled against him.
According to speculations, Panov may have fled to the U.S.
Another person Trump Jr. hung out with was Olga Andreeva who was present as director of Krasnodar Krai Economic Development Agency, which represents Sochi.
At the time of the summit, Sochi had just won the bid for the Winter Olympics 2014, an event Putin would end up being heavily involved in.
Another interview clip unearthed from 2012 shows Trump Jr. talking about the family business in Riga, Latvia.
“While I’m speaking at a conference usually it ends up being a great opportunity to network to meet other people that are doing things both here and all over the world,” Trump Jr. told his Latvian interviewers in 2012.
He also said that he "would be interested in collaborating. So for me, you know, a big part of my job is just forming those friendships that often lead to partnerships.”
Trump Jr. then went on to mention a hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, that his family was building.
As Huffington Post notes, it is impossible to prove any link between Trump and Moscow without his tax returns. However, it may safely be ascertained the family had business interests in Russia.