“I was building Trump Towers by day and hunting Bin Laden by night,” Sater, now 50, told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview from New York.
As managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate development firm, the Russian-born businessman met Trump in 2003, court records show, when Trump was looking to expand his business and branding organization around the globe.
Although few projects were built, Sater worked on hotel and condominium deals with the Trump Organization through 2010 in New York, Florida, Arizona, London, Moscow and elsewhere even as he secretly helped the FBI infiltrate and take down organized crime figures, according to court records.
Trump has denied they were close, but Sater had access to Trump’s inner circle as recently as this year.
In January, Sater and Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met in a New York hotel with a Ukrainian lawmaker who asked them to bring the White House a pro-Russian peace deal for Ukraine.