A Russian businessman with knowledge of the infamous “pee tapes” was told the tapes were fake, but chose not to tell Michael Cohen, the Mueller Report revealed Thursday.
Giorgi Rtskhiladze texted former personal attorney to the president Michael Cohen on October 30, 2016, saying, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know…” according to the report released Thursday morning after Attorney General William Barr’s press conference.
A footnote in the report reads, “Rtskhiladze said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen.”
But though Rtskhiladze was told that the tapes were fake, he did not tell Cohen.
The tapes in question referred to supposedly compromising tapes of President Donald Trump rumored to be in the possession of Crocus Group, a Russian real estate firm which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant when it took place in Russia. Russian operatives allegedly filmed Trump engaging in “golden showers” with Russian prostitutes when Trump stayed in the Ritz Carlton in Moscow. Trump denied the allegations. Rumors of the tapes emerged in a June 20, 2016, dossier funded by Democrats and written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Cohen reportedly brought the tapes to Trump’s attention after receiving Rtskhiladze’s texts. Trump reportedly did not want First Lady Melania to believe the stories and later asked Comey to investigate the matter.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ … adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey wrote in his 2018 book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” according to the New York Post.
“He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.”
Barr reiterated during the press conference that special counsel Robert Mueller had found no evidence implicating Trump or any members of his campaign of Russian collusion.
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