2017-09-09 —

The effort was never publicly disclosed by Trump during the campaign, though there wasn't any requirement that he do so. But he insisted on several occasions that he had "nothing" to do with Russia, with a few exceptions -- a mansion he sold to a Russian in 2008, and the Miss Universe pageant he held in Moscow in 2013. He never mentioned the potential Trump Tower deal as one of the exceptions.

"I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we've stayed away," Trump said in early January 2017 as President-elect. "We could make deals in Russia very easily if we wanted to, I just don't want to because I think that would be a conflict. I have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals."

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