- Flight records show that the plane President Donald Trump used to fly to Moscow in 2013 spent nearly 48 hours in the city.
- Trump told former FBI Director James Comey, according to his memos, that he did not stay overnight in Moscow.
- The trip in question was referenced in an infamous dossier about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. It alleged Trump of being present for a lewd sexual act involving prostitutes and urination in a hotel in Moscow.
Flight records obtained by Bloomberg shed new light on President Donald Trump’s heavily scrutinised 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant – and they seem to contradict what Trump told former FBI Director James Comey, according to his memos.
According to those memos, Trump told the then-FBI director that he never spent the night in Moscow during the trip. Last January, Comey wrote that Trump said he arrived the morning of the pageant and departed back for New York the same night. In February, Comey wrote that Trump told him “he hadn’t stayed overnight in Russia” during the trip.
“He said he had spoken to people who had been on the Miss Universe trip with him and they had reminded him that he didn’t stay overnight in Russia for that,” Comey wrote in one memo. “He said he arrived in the morning, did events, then showered and dressed for the pageant at the hotel (he didn’t say the hotel name) and left for the pageant. Afterwards, he returned only to get his things because they departed for New York by plane that same night. He said he thought maybe he should ask me to investigate the whole thing to prove it was a lie.”
It has been previously reported that Trump did spend at least one night in Moscow during his 2013 trip. But the flight records provide the most detail of the trip’s timeline yet.
The timeline based on flight records shows that Trump spent multiple days in Moscow
The records, which Bloomberg purchased from FlightAware, an aviation data company, showed that the Bombardier Global 5000 private jet owned by billionaire Phil Ruffin, which Trump reportedly used to fly to Moscow, took off from Asheville, North Carolina, where Trump had attended a birthday celebration for the televangelist Billy Graham, at 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, November 7, 2013, bound for Russia.
It landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport at 6:15 a.m. Friday, November 8. That night, Trump attended a birthday party for the pageant’s host, Aras Agalarov, a Russian-based developer. On Saturday, November 9, Bloomberg reported that Facebook posts showed Trump at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where it is alleged in former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele’s dossier that Russian intelligence may have video footage of prostitutes performing a lewd sex act involving urination in the presence of the future president.
Trump had insisted to Comey that he investigate the allegation of the so-called “pee tape,” denying that there was any truth to it.
Later that day, Trump attended the Miss Universe pageant, which was followed by an after party that stretched into Sunday, November 10. The flight took off from Moscow then at 3:58 a.m. that morning, headed for Newark Liberty International Airport outside of New York City.
The White House and the Trump Organisation did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.
Trump has sought – both publicly at a press conference prior to taking office and privately to Comey – to dispel the allegation that such video evidence exists. But Comey’s assertion that Trump told him he had not stayed in Moscow overnight contradicts previous reporting and the flight records.
The flight records, however, did not show who specifically was aboard the flight, Bloomberg noted.
In recent days, as Comey’s tell-all book was released, Trump has blasted the former FBI director’s integrity, labelling him a “proven leaker,” a “liar,” and “an untruthful slime ball.” The president has additionally called Comey “shadey” [sic] and “the worst FBI director in history.”
Over the weekend, Trump retweeted a post from the Daily Mail’s US political editor, David Martosko, who wrote that he is “astonished at the lack of Republican messaging today” regarding how the memos “confirm Trump asked Comey to investigate and lay to rest the Russian hookers stuff, which is something you don’t do if you’re guilty.”
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