Since his knowledge of its existence, Donald Trump has argued that the Steele dossier (AKA the document which suggests that Russia had compromising information with which to blackmail our president) is completely fabricated. Trump’s main arguments have been that 1.) he doesn’t need to pay for sex (LOL okay), and 2.) he didn’t stay overnight in Russia when he visited during the Miss Universe pageant, which is when the “golden shower” incident reportedly took place.
While the first excuse is pretty flimsy, Trump’s alibi for his whereabouts during the Miss Universe pageant is even more so: according to flight records recently obtained by POLITICO and Bloomberg, Trump actually spent two nights in Moscow in 2013.
The New York Times initially reported that Trump traveled to Moscow in 2013 on a plane owned by casino magnate Phil Ruffin. A Bombardier Global Express jet owned by Ruffin had travel patterns during Trump’s during this period, according to POLITICO:
Federal Aviation Administration flight records obtained by POLITICO show Trump touched down at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport on the afternoon of Friday, November 8, staying over Friday night and most of Saturday night before departing from Moscow in the early morning hours on Sunday.
According to memos from former FBI Director James Comey, Trump lied directly to Comey’s face about his travel schedule during the pageant, saying he’d “spoken to people who had been on … the trip … and they had reminded him that he didn’t stay overnight in Russia.”
Trump seemed very insistent on this point, despite the fact that his own social media presence disputes his claims. According to the Huffington Post, “In one Facebook post, Trump poses in a photo outside Nobu Moscow on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The pageant was held on Saturday.”
Trump even tweeted in the evening on Sunday, Nov. 10, telling his followers he’d “just got back from Russia.”
I just got back from Russia-learned lots & lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place! U.S. MUST BE VERY SMART AND VERY STRATEGIC.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2013
The fact that Trump blatantly lied to Comey does seem to indicate that the scandalous allegations in the Steele dossier do indeed have merit. This falsehood may have also caught the eye of special counsel Robert Mueller, giving weight to speculations that Trump obstructed justice and colluded with Russian officials.
At this point, it really seems like Trump should have gotten better at this whole “lying to the government” thing.