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The suck-up timeline of the Moscow Project

The suck-up timeline of the Moscow Project

by digby

via Buzzfeed

Felix Sater proposed the Trump Moscow project in September of 2015, three months after Trump started running for president. Trump signed the letter of intent on October 28th, the day of the thrid GOP presidential deabte (that CNBC marathon that had Trump slumping over his podium like a dying swan at the end.)

Here is what Trump said about Putin during that period the deal was live, via CNN:

Sept. 23, 2015

Trump says at a town hall event in Columbia, South Carolina, that he will “get along with Putin.”


Sept. 27, 2015


Sept. 28, 2015

Trump tells reporters at Trump Tower that “Putin is a nicer person than I am.”

Sept. 29, 2015

Trump tells Bill O’Reilly that Putin gets an ‘A’ for leadership.

"I will tell you that I think in terms of leadership, he is getting an 'A,' and our president is not doing so well," Trump said. "They did not look good together."

Oct. 2, 2015

Trump tells Sean Hannity that “Putin has no respect for our president whatsoever.”

Oct. 6, 2015

Trump tells conservative radio host Michael Savage he’s met Vladimir Putin.

“Yes,” Trump says. “Yes, a long time ago. We got along great, by the way.”

Oct. 11, 2015

Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he and Putin had “fantastic ratings on ‘60 Minutes’ together” and again said he thought they’d get along well.

"I think the biggest thing we have is that we were on '60 Minutes' together and we had fantastic ratings. One of your best-rated shows in a long time," Trump said. "So that was good, right? So we were stablemates."

He added, "I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don't think you'd be having the kind of problems that you're having right now.”

Oct. 13, 2015

Trump asserted in an interview with the Guardian that Putin was going into Syria to combat ISIS.

“He’s going to want to bomb ISIS because he doesn’t want ISIS going into Russia and so he’s going to want to bomb ISIS. Vladimir Putin is going to want to really go after ISIS, and if he doesn’t it’ll be a big shock to everybody,” Trump said.

Still, in mentioning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he noted that Putin is “an Assad person” and “the United States doesn’t like Assad.”

Oct. 14, 2015

Told Bill O’Reilly that Putin was his “stablemate” on 60 Minutes.

“Well, you know, I actually hosted it 10 years ago and Lorne Michaels called me up the other day. He said I'd love to have you host and I agreed to it because it's an honor. I did 60 Minutes last week — that was an honor. My stablemate was Vladimir Putin and we did very well.”

Nov. 10, 2015

Asked a Republican debate what he would do as president in response to Russian aggression, Trump said, “Well, first of all, it's not only Russia. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that's one of the worst deals ever made. … So, we have more than just Russia.”

He went on to say, "I got to know (Putin) very well because we were both on ‘60 Minutes,’ we were stablemates, and we did very well that night. But, you know that."

“But, if Putin wants to knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m all for it 100% and I can’t understand how anybody would be against that,” he added.

Nov. 13, 2015

Trump walks back his Putin stablemate comment, saying his 60 Minutes segment was separate from Putin’s.


Dec. 18, 2015

Trump said on Morning Joe that Putin was a better leader than Obama, and dismissed Joe Scarborough’s allegations that the Russian president “kills journalists that don’t agree with him.”

“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said.
He added: "I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There's a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing going on, a lot of stupidity."

Dec. 20, 2015

In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Trump defends against allegations Putin has ordered the killings of journalists and dissidents.

“As far as the reporters are concerned — as far as the reporters are concerned, obviously I don't want that to happen. I think it's terrible — horrible. But, in all fairness to Putin, you're saying he killed people. I haven't' seen that. I don't know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he's killed? Because I've been — you know, you've been hearing this, but I haven't seen the name. Now, I think it would be despicable if that took place, but I haven't' seen any evidence that he killed anybody in terms of reporters.”

Dec. 21, 2015

Trump tells Iowa radio host Simon Conway, “I’ve always had a good instinct about Putin. I just feel that that’s a guy—and I can analyze people and you’re not always right, and it could be that I won’t like him. But I’ve always had a good feeling about him from the standpoint.”

Dec. 30, 2015

Trump says at an event in South Carolina that Putin says he’s “brilliant.” And attacks his opponents, saying, “they want me to refute his statement.”

Jan. 26, 2016

In an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump discusses the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian security agent, and the 2016 findings of a British inquiry that Putin “probably approved” his poisoning.

"Have they found him guilty?” Trump said. “I don't think they've found him guilty.”

“If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it. You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Maria, in all fairness to Putin—I don’t know. You know, and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’ —the fact is that, you know, he hasn’t been convicted of anything.”

Feb. 15, 2016

Trump says at a news conference he’d be a better negotiator with Putin than his rivals.

“You want to make a good deal for the country, you want to deal with Russia – and there’s nothing wrong with not fighting everybody, having Russia where we have a good relationship as opposed to all the stupidity that’s taken place.”

Feb. 17, 2016

Trump says at a rally that he has no relationship with Putin.

"I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius,” Trump said. “He said, ‘Donald Trump is a genius and he is going to be the leader of the party and he's going to be the leader of the world or something.’”

Feb. 26, 2016

Trump says at a press conference that he can’t imagine Marco Rubio meeting with Putin.

“I joked recently about, ‘can you imagine Putin sitting there waiting for a meeting and Rubio walks in and he's totally drenched,” Trump said. “I don't know what it is, but I've never seen a human being sweat like this man sweats.”

Feb. 28, 2016

Trump says at campaign rally in Alabama he’d be a better negotiator with Putin than his rivals.

He says Putin has been “very nice” to him.

March 12, 2016

Trump says at a rally that the media falsely claims he admires Putin:

“Putin said good things about me. He said, ‘he’s a leader and there’s no question about it, he’s a genius.’ So they all said, the media, they said -- you saw it on the debate -- they said, ‘you admire President Putin.’ I said, I don’t admire him. I said he was a strong leader, which he is. I mean, he might be bad, he might be good. But he’s a strong leader.”

March 21, 2016

Speaking at the Old Post Office, Trump says, “Putin says very nice things about me. I think that's very nice and it has no effect on me other than I think it's very nice.”

April 26, 2016

Trump says during a victory speech “We're going to have a great relationship with Putin and Russia.”

April 28, 2016

Trump says Putin has been “very nice” to him:

"I'm saying that I'd possibly have a good relationship. He's been very nice to me," Trump told Bill O’Reilly. "If we can make a great deal for our country and get along with Russia that would be a tremendous thing. I would love to try it."

May 2, 2016

Trump tells Indiana radio host Charly Butcher that the US should call Putin to ask him to stop Russian planes from barrel-rolling over US aircraft, but that if they didn’t stop, “at a certain point...you gotta shoot.”

May 5, 2016

Asked if he’s ever spoken to Vladimir Putin, Trump gives a “no comment” toFox News’ Bret Baier.

“Yeah, I have no comment on that,” he said. “No comment.” When Baier pressed him, “Yeah, but I don’t want to comment because, let’s assume I did. Perhaps it was personal. You know, I don’t want to hurt his confidence. But I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago – Miss Universe contest – which is a big, incredible event, and incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people. And you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got with somebody?”

May 27, 2016

Trump calls Putin “a strong leader” at a rally.

June 3, 2016

At a rally in California, Trump mocked those who wanted him to “disavow” Putin’s praise of him.

“Then Putin said, ’Donald Trump is a genius, he’s going to be the next great leader of the United States.’ No, no, think of it. They wanted me to disavow what he said. How dare you call me a genius. How dare you call me a genius, Vladimir. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia? Wouldn’t that be good?"

[In here is where the deal fell apart, with Cohen canceling his trip on the day the DNC email hack was revealed.]

July 25, 2016

Trump tweets:


July 27, 2016

Trump tells a local Miami CBS affiliate that he has nothing to do with Russia and has never met Putin, saying, “But I have nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do, I never met Putin, I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.”

July 27, 2016

Trump says at a news conference that he had never met Putin and didn’t know who he was:

“I never met Putin,” Trump said. “I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I'm a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”

He also said, "I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there's nothing I can think of that I'd rather do than have Russia friendly, as opposed to the way they are right now, so that we can go and knock out ISIS with other people.”

In the same news conference, Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails as secretary of state.


To be fair, Trump was sucking up to Putin before this deal and continued to do it afterwards. It's reasonable to speculate, however, that he was sucking up for years to get a deal and has been sucking up since then to cover one up.

And there's also the possibility that this is just the tip of kompromat iceberg.