Flight records call into question Trump's Moscow visit claims

Supported byLettersA Reporter’s Reflections on Hillary Clinton’s Loss

Supported byLettersA Reporter’s Reflections on Hillary Clinton’s Loss

Bloomberg does not explicitly allege that Trump lied to Comey, but said the flight records provide "fresh details". Combined with existing accounts and Trump's own social-media posts, they capture two days that, almost five years later, loom large in the controversy engulfing the White House and at the heart of the Comey memos, which the Justice Department turned over last week to Congress.

The White House and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

Flight records obtained by Bloomberg say that Trump's jet shows him flying into Moscow on Friday evening, staying overnight, and flying out the next evening, after the Miss Universe Pageant on Saturday evening and a late night afterparty. He left in the early morning hours the following Sunday-spending one full night and most of a second one in the Russian capital - in contradiction to the recollections of Comey, who wrote about his early 2017 meetings with Trump minutes after they concluded. Instead, claimed Trump, he "departed for NY by plane that same night".

He suggested that investigators could also probe whether Trump had in fact conferred with others who "reminded" him he did not stay the night in Russian Federation, as he apparently told Comey he did. While flight records show Trump's own Cessna jet headed back to NY that night from Asheville, North Carolina, Trump himself apparently wasn't aboard.

After the event, Trump flew to Moscow on a private jet owned by Phil Ruffin, his partner in the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas, the New York Times reported in January 2017. Trump's use of Ruffin's jet is also reported in the newly published book, "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump", by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

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The flight records, however, did not show who specifically was aboard the flight, Bloomberg noted.

James Comey. Associated Press/Cliff Owen It landed at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport at 6:15 a.m. Friday, November 8. The tweet said that the photo was taken at Crocus City Mall, part of a multi-use Moscow development owned by the Agalarovs that hosted the next day's pageant.

Over the weekend, Trump retweeted a post from the Daily Mail's USA political editor, David Martosko, who wrote that he is "astonished at the lack of Republican messaging today" regarding how the memos "confirm Trump asked Comey to investigate and lay to rest the Russian hookers stuff, which is something you don't do if you're guilty".

Later that day, Trump attended the Miss Universe pageant, which was followed by an after party that stretched into Sunday, November 10. Last January, Comey wrote that Trump said he arrived the morning of the pageant and departed back for NY the same night.

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