In a series of unearthed emails from 2015, one of President Donald Trump's business partners vowed to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election by securing a real estate deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it," the associate, Felix Sater, explained in an email to Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, according to The New York Times. "I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process."
Sater, who was born in Russia, wrote that he was going to share video footage of Trump praising Putin and would work with them have Putin praise Trump for his business skills.
"If he says it we own this election," explained Sater. "America's most difficult adversary agreeing that Donald is a good guy to negotiate."
He also said that he had arranged to finance the real estate project with Russia's VTB Bank, which the U.S. had sanctioned at the time.
"I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," wrote Sater, who also called it "pretty cool to get a USA President elected" and wrote that it would be a "home run" if he could become the ambassador to the Bahamas.
Trump maintains that his team did not in any way collude with the Russian government to help his campaign. The new emails released do not mention 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton or the breach in Democratic officials' emails.
"To be clear, the Trump Organization has never had any real estate holdings or interests in Russia," the Trump Organization said in an Aug. 28 statement. The Times notes that while Trump signed a nonbinding letter of intent for the Russian Trump Tower in 2015, Cohen was not officially employed by the Trump Organization at the time and failed to contact Russian officials for it on at least one occasion.
The news comes amid reports that Trump's lawyer contacted Moscow officials to speak about the potential Trump Tower in the Russian capital, notes CNN. Those building efforts continued from 2015 to 2016.
"The Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected," Cohen said in a written statement, according to CNN.
In another statement, Cohen added that the potential business dealing "was not related in any way to Mr. Trump's presidential campaign."
The attorney added that Sater has been known to use "colorful language" and "salesmanship," so he didn't think much of the emails, notes The Times.
"I ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia," he explained.