A video reportedly aired in 1995 on Russian state television show President Donald Trump meeting with Moscow officials to discuss a building project, The Independent reported on Wednesday.
“Trump was in Moscow,” Yury Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow from 1992 through 2010, told the Interfax news agency. “He had contacts…on matters related to the construction of the Okhotny Ryad underground mall on Manezh Square.”
The video adds new insight into Mr Trump’s business dealings in Russia well before the 2016 presidential election. It had previously been reported he visited Moscow in 1996 — a year after his alleged meeting with the former mayor’s administration — when he announced plans to invest upwards of $250m into the city.
Daniel Sandford, BBC News who previously worked as a correspondent in Moscow, said the footage was discovered by someone who had “been going through the Russian TV archives”.While the meeting itself does not point to any illegal activity, it does fly in the face of Trump’s claims that he had no business dealings with Russia prior to running for president.
“I know nothing about Russia,” Mr Trump said during the second presidential debate against Hillary Clinton. “I don’t deal there.”
He also previously told CBS4 in 2016, “I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.”
And again, in 2017, the president reiterated those claims in a tweet: “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”