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Russian oligarch met with Cohen days before inauguration.

A Russian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin who has been sanctioned by the US for election interference visited Donald Trump’s personal attorney in Trump Tower 11 days before the inauguration, according to reports. Viktor Vekselberg met Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and “fixer,” on Jan. 9, 2017, reportedly to discuss strengthening US-Russian ties under the...
Time: 14:36     Date: 25.05.2018
Last US News: Russian oligarch met with Cohen days before inauguration. NY Post 24 - US News

Viktor Vekselberg met Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and “fixer,” on Jan. 9, 2017, reportedly to discuss strengthening US-Russian ties under the new administration, the New York Times reported.

The billionaire’s cousin, Andrew Intrater, head of US investment firm Columbus Nova, attended the meeting and described it to the Times, which also confirmed Vekselberg’s presence with video footage.

A source familiar with the meeting told CNN that Vekselberg, chairman of Russian asset manager Renova Group, was not originally expected to attend the brief session.

Days after Trump’s inauguration, Columbus Nova awarded Cohen a $1 million consulting contract, a deal that has drawn the attention of the feds probing the lawyer, sources told the Times.

Intrater told the paper that Vekselberg had no role in Columbus Nova’s decision to hire Cohen as a consultant.

“Obviously, if I’d known in January 2017 that I was about to hire this high-profile guy who’d wind up in this big mess, I wouldn’t have introduced him to my biggest client, and wouldn’t have hired him at all,” Intrater said, stressing that he has done nothing wrong.

Columbus Nova has tried to distance itself from Vekselberg, denying that the oligarch used the company as a conduit to pay Cohen, according to CNN.

Columbus Nova has removed references to Renova Group from its partners’ biographies and said it’s a “management company solely owned and controlled by Americans.”

The company said it hired Cohen after the inauguration, but the newly discovered video shows that Vekselberg and Intrater were meeting with Cohen before Trump took office, CNN reported.

FBI agents working with special counsel Robert Mueller have questioned Vekselberg about the Columbus Nova payments to Cohen, as well as more than $300,000 in donations from Intrater to Trump’s inauguration and the Republican National Committee, sources told the network.

“Columbus Nova has cooperated with all requests for documents and information from federal authorities,” Intrater’s lawyer Richard Owens told CNN.

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her defamation suit against Trump and Cohen, alleged that Renova Group paid Cohen about $500,000 after the inauguration.

Cohen’s home, office and hotel room were raided last month as part of a criminal probe by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. pulled out of an event Friday that would have required him to be in the same room as Vekselberg, according to Reuters.

Last week, Huntsman said he planned to be at a panel discussion on US-Russian business ties as part of the St. Petersburg investment forum, a Kremlin-backed showcase for the Russian economy.

Vekselberg was on the panel of speakers Friday along with American and Russian business executives, but Huntsman was absent. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Vekselberg told the session that US-Russia relations have worsened in the past year.

“The number of optimists has declined, though there are still some in this room,” he said.

“We have to answer the classic question in Russian history: ‘What should we do?’ We can do nothing except to talk, to maintain a dialogue,” he added.

Metro

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Opinion

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Living

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A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO road racing car is expected to fetch more than $45 million at auction in August, making it the most...
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LONDON — No beer at this time of year? A British trade group says there’s a shortage of carbon dioxide in Northern...
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When Gina Doost and Jeff Fransen planned their picture-perfect wedding in September 2016, they were dealing with two challenges...
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The moment Dana Rosenbloom picked up her cell phone and heard the anguished voice of her client — an Upper East Side mother...
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Vancouver’s annual Car Free Day festival attracts thousands of people to the Canadian city’s Main Street. However, this...
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A Florida teen is recovering from a terrifying health scare involving a venomous caterpillar, according to reports. Logan...
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Business

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A Houston sports bar closed its doors for two weeks after the local prosecutor called it a “crime factory” — claiming...
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This bit of news got a lot of play this week: Millennials — Americans age 18 to 37 — are lousy tippers. In fact, they...
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Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who is Speaker of the House, said yesterday that the tax law changes have already been...
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Interest rates went up again last week. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday they will continue to rise....
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Metro

Metro News: Protesters descend on LaGuardia as young migrants arrive in NYC. NY Post 24 - US News
Protesters descend on LaGuardia as young migrants arrive in NYC.
More than 100 protesters arrived at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday night where immigrant minors who have been separated from...
Metro News: Area where Eric Garner was killed now the ‘heroin capital of Staten Island’. NY Post 24 - US News
Area where Eric Garner was killed now the ‘heroin capital of Staten Island’.
Gangbangers peddle drugs in plain sight, hustlers resell cheap booze on the street corner — 50 cents will get you a capful...
Metro News: Tenant advocate facing $20M defamation suit over bribing accusations. NY Post 24 - US News
Tenant advocate facing $20M defamation suit over bribing accusations.
A tenant advocate is facing a $20 million defamation lawsuit after accusing a leading real estate lobbying group of bribing...
Metro News: New library room to honor Brooke Astor. NY Post 24 - US News
New library room to honor Brooke Astor.
Philanthropist Brooke Astor always loved and nurtured the New York Public Library, and next month, it will thank her by starting...
Metro News: Spanish graffiti artists must pay $1,000 to avoid jail time. NY Post 24 - US News
Spanish graffiti artists must pay $1,000 to avoid jail time.
The last of the Spanish vandals who in April sullied the Big Apple’s subways with spray paint were sentenced Wednesday...
Metro News: Burglar breaks family’s hearts twice in 14-hour span. NY Post 24 - US News
Burglar breaks family’s hearts twice in 14-hour span.
A Queens family thought they were unlucky when their house got burglarized — but they had insult added to injury when the...
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Sport

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