President Trump’s claim that he did not spend the night in Russia prior to the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant has been undermined by flight records from his trip.
The flight records, which were obtained by Bloomberg, contradict the President’s claim. They show that the jet, owned by Trump’s business partners, landed Friday morning and left Saturday morning. The records did not show a manifest of who was aboard the flight.
“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,” former FBI director Jim Comey wrote in one of his contemporaneous memos following a discussion with the President in 2017.
“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.”
The claim that Trump left on the same day was further undermined by the fact that he has social media postings where he Tweeted about touring the Russian capital city on the following day.
I was just given a great tour of Moscow – fantastic, hard working people. CITY IS REALLY ENERGIZED! The World will be watching tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2013
“Meanwhile Donald Trump @RealDonaldTrump has arrived! You’re are welcome! #missuniverse,” Yulya Alferova an advisor to Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Tweeted that Friday. She later posted an Instagram post of the two of them meeting in what she called a “Business lunch with Donald Trump.” She refused to comment when contacted by journalists.
These documents also further collaborate the testimony of Trump’s bodyguard Kurt Schiller who testified to Congress that “a Russian” offered to send “five women” up to Trump’s hotel room. Schiller emphatically denied that they accepted the offer saying: “we don’t do that kind of stuff.”
It remains somewhat difficult to believe that all of the previously stated events transpired in a single day.
As for the reason why the Trump Administration has refused to acknowledge the overnight stay remains to be seen.
Pete Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor who worked for Patrick Fitzgerald’s during his investigation into the Bush Administration for potential leaks, has claimed that Mueller could potentially use Trump’s lies to demonstrate a “consciousness of guilt.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller “would argue that it shows he’s afraid of the truth,” said Zeidenberg. “It’s very likely there would be no corroboration for that story, which makes the whole thing look like a big fat lie.”