The New York Times headlines: “Felix Sater, Trump Associate, Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected.’” Sounds exciting, right? But the story fizzles rapidly.
Felix Sater was a real estate broker who didn’t work for the Trump organization. (Hence the weaselly “Trump associate” headline.) He has, to say the least, a colorful history. But what is the story? Sater sent a couple of emails to Michael Cohen, who did work for the Trump organization as a lawyer. Sater, a Russian immigrant, enthusiastically promoted the idea of a Trump property in Moscow, which he claimed he could deliver. The Times likes this portion of a Sater email, dated November 3, 2015:
Micheal we can own this story. Donald doesn’t stare down, he negotiates and understands the economic issues and Putin only want to deal with a pragmatic leader, and a successful business man is a good candidate for someone who knows how to negotiate. “Business, politics, whatever it is all the same for someone who knows how to deal”
Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.
The Times says there is no indication that Cohen even replied to Sater’s emails. In any event, the Moscow project was investigated briefly and, the Times says, dropped. The Trump organization has properties in 11 countries, and Russia isn’t one of them. So the story is what? A Russian immigrant who didn’t work for Trump had a vision of making Donald Trump look good (and making himself a lot of money) via a business deal with the Russians, which Trump’s people never followed up on. It’s like a joke with no punch line.
The Times tries to make something out of nothing:
The emails show that, from the earliest months of Mr. Trump’s campaign, some of his associates viewed close ties with Moscow as a political advantage.
Oh, please. Sater was hoping to make a lot of money as a broker, but the Trump organization didn’t pursue the deal. Has Sater even met Donald Trump? Not as far as the emails disclose.
You can hear the gnashing of teeth as the Times recites the story that it wishes had been true:
The emails obtained by The Times make no mention of Russian efforts to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign or the hacking of Democrats’ emails. Mr. Trump has said there was no collusion with Russian officials. Previously released emails, however, revealed that his campaign was willing to receive damaging information about Mrs. Clinton from Russian sources.
“Willing to receive damaging information” about a political opponent? That is pathetic. I have never heard of a campaign that wasn’t willing to receive damaging information about an opponent. At least the Trump campaign didn’t manufacture lies about Hillary Clinton, as the Clinton campaign or the DNC apparently did via the fake “dossier” in which the FBI, under Barack Obama’s corrupt Department of Justice, seems to have collaborated. If you are looking for a scandal, you need look no farther. But of course, the New York Times, as a Democratic Party newspaper, has no interest in looking into that story.